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Gadsden County holds graduation for Guardian program

Posted at 5:55 AM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 05:55:39-05

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Five new Guardians are ready to protect the halls and classrooms at Gadsden County Schools.

They graduated just this evening.

One month of intense training.

"It was very intense you know that saying reach down and pull your boot straps up. You had to do that," said Janice who is a Guardian.

Making five service-driven people into guardians.

Their sworn duty is to protect students and staff in case of an active-shooter situation.

"You're charged with a great deal to protect our little ones the ones who can't protect themselves," said Kurt who is also a Guardian.

Five graduates make up Gadsden County's second class of Guardians.

This group worked both during the week and on weekends sometimes event at night to get their certification.

"It's a combination of classroom, technical and tactical so they spend a lot of time on the firearms range," said Captain Bobby Collins.

The county even took advantage of the now-closed Gretchen Elementary School which gave these protectors a chance to train in a real classroom setting.

Now, they can apply through the school board for a job that would put them in classrooms regularly.

Bernard March was a member of Gadsden County's very first Guardian class. He works at Chattahoochee elementary.

"It gives me a chance to be there for the safety of the kids, not only the kids but the staff," said March.

And for this new group of Guardians – that remains the top priority.

Captain Bobby Collins says they are already working on bringing in the next class of Guardians.

If you are interested in joining, you can contact the Gadsden County Sheriffs Office.