VIERA, Fla. - Heading into the new school year, Brevard County school resource officers will be equipped with rifles.
Following the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, school safety is top of mind for parents, schools, and students. Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey explained the reasoning in a Facebook video. "Let me be very clear: you are not coming into my schools and killing our children. I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed."
Parents have mixed reactions to this new tactic. Gianna Killian told FOX 35 News that she was in support of this idea. "I feel like it’s probably best," Killian said. "I think it definitely makes me feel a bit more comfortable obviously, not 100% because you can’t trust everyone." Knowing there are school resource officers equipped with rifles makes her feel safe, she added.
Colleen Furia, another Brevard County parent, was concerned with this approach. "Safety is foremost on a parent’s mind while they’re at school, but I don’t think my daughter should be exposed to, you know, assault rifles at her school," Furia told FOX 35. She said there are other ways to protect students without visibly showing rifles around campus. "It’s just a little concerning to the children if they see that," said Furia, adding "they might not understand what’s happening in the schools today."
Tod Goodyear, Public Information Officer with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, believes students will adapt quickly to the new uniform additions. "Our deputies and officers are there and personal with their interactions. It’ll become part of their uniform."
The resource officers did have to go through special training to be able to carry these kinds of guns.