Gulf District schools draw attention to signs warning teachers and staff are armed
GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Schools in the Gulf District are sending a message to the public that they will not hold back when it comes to protecting children in their schools. School officials posted signs on school gates that read, “Warning staff members are armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force.
“When we say they speak for themselves, I think we’re all prepared to do what it takes to advocate for the children in our care,” Superintendent Jim Norton said.
These signs have gained popularity on social networks. Which was not the original intention. The superintendent said he saw another school using it and decided to implement them in his district.
“I don’t know how you stop a bad actor from doing a bad thing, but if the last thing they have is a shocker, you know, I think the kitchen sink should be thrown out.” , said Norton.
According to the principal of Port St. Joe Elementary, a majority of parents are in favor of the sign.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” said Port St. Joe Elementary Principal Jessica Brock. “Lots of parents praising these signs, lots of positive posts on social media about these signs, so as far as I’m concerned, all positive.”
Brock is not only a principal, she is also a mother and sees the signs as a benefit to staff and parents.
“It would make it so much easier to drop my child off every morning and reassure me as a parent,” Brock said.
Community leaders also told NewsChannel 7 that they agree with the post.
“I think as a teacher and also as a community leader, our job is to protect and serve these children, we are here to educate the children, but also to make sure that they are safe during they’re in school,” Sandy Quinn, Gulf County Commissioner and teacher, said.
Gulf District Schools participates in the Tutor Program, which allows some teachers who undergo training to be armed in school.
“We are prepared to use lethal force if you hurt our children, this is a message that speaks for itself and it is not directed at the right people, it speaks to the wrong people,” Norton said. .
Each school also has a school resource officer.
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