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Florida school is first in country to arm 'guardians' with rifles

(WFLA/ NBC) A Florida school is the first in the country to have armed guardians carrying long guns.

Manatee School of the Arts is a charter school in Palmetto. Its board can independently hire and decide what type of weapon they want their guardians to carry.

Principal Bill Jones said he wanted guardians to carry a weapon that will immediately stop an intruder and threat.

"You have to ask yourself a question. Why would I not equip the guardian with at least the equivalent firepower that someone is very likely to walk in the door with?" Jones said.

All schools in Florida are mandated to have a guardian on campus after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year.

Jones said they interviewed 600 applicants. Administrators decided on two men, both veterans. Both were still required to complete guardian training with the sheriff's office.

One guard is currently working on campus. The second is expected to join after training this week.

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