Armed intruders of this Florida school beware, for you will be met with swift, unwavering and deadly force by the guards now employed within.

This was the warning given to the public after Manatee School for the Arts hired combat veterans to stand guard on the school grounds a year after the deadly Parkland shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent victims.

Principal Bill Jones commented on the addition of the guards that will be armed with semi-automatic rifles. “If someone walks onto this campus, they’re going to be shot and killed,” Jones said. “We’re not going to talk with them. We’re not going to negotiate. We are going to put them down, as quickly as possible.”

Since the shooting on February 14th, 2018, laws surrounding gun control and school protection have skyrocketed around the country, aiming to take dangerous weapons from those deemed unsafe, and add an additional layer of security to school zones. The MSDHS Public Safety Act requires that all Florida schools have armed security on campus.

Other areas of the country have seemingly wavered in the other direction, aiming to further remove the presence of all firearms from the school’s campus.

Most recently, Baltimore has passed a measure stating that officers, even while on duty or serving as an SRO, cannot carry their weapons on school grounds.

The country has been extremely divided over whether to include armed guards in school buildings or even to arm teachers themselves.

Because the Manatee School for the Arts is not a public school, they have a bit more leeway with how they can choose to protect themselves. The school is only hiring combat veterans with prior experience and is arming them with Glock handguns and Kel-Tec RDB 17-inch semi-automatic long-guns. These guns are to be carried with them at all times in case a threat arises.

“We’re not looking for a fight. We’re looking for an overwhelming advantage.”

Time and time again we have seen that ‘Gun-Free Zones’ don’t keep the threat of guns out of schools. Criminals aren’t going to see the sign and then suddenly have a change of heart. Someone wanting to commit acts of violence against others will find a way, be it a projectile, explosive, vehicle or more. The Manatee School agrees, and now puts forward the message that anyone looking to cause harm will be met by a highly trained opponent.

“We want our SROs and guardians to be as well prepared as possible if God forbid the worst happens,” said Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler.

Other groups are continuously pushing for more safety and education surrounding active threats in the school arena. The Operation Innocence task force is looking to create and implement positive, common sense solutions into educational facilities around the country.

These are our children, and they must be protected.

Dan McIsaac is the Managing Editor of The Whiskey Patriots and Director of Social Media for The Silent Partner Marketing. His goal is to improve the relationship between the public and law enforcement and help humanize the men and women who serve and protect.