LIBERTY COUNTY, FLa. — A new program set to ensure school safety is being implemented in Liberty County Schools for the 2023-24 school year.
According to Liberty County Sheriff's Office, the Chris Hixon, Coach Aaron Feis and Coach Scott Beigal Guardian Program was established in 2018 through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.
The new Guardian Program will ensure that highly trained personnel are in place when in need to respond quickly in the event of a school shooting.
The sheriff's office says members of the school district staff were trained as Guardians, and were carefully vetted by both the sheriff's department and school officials. Guardians are required to pass a psychological evaluation, all background screenings, and participate in 144 hours of armed training, according to the sheriff's office.
Guardians also receive a one-time $500 stipend for participation in the program from the state of Florida.
New signs have also been placed at each school site to assist with safety support. The signs read "Staff members are armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children and staff will be met with Deadly Force."
Beginning, Thursday, August 10, Guardians will be located at each school site to assist School Resource Officers on the first day of school.