ORLANDO, Fla. – When students in Central Florida head back to school Monday morning, the experience will be much different than when they left for summer vacation.
Following new legislation, every district in Florida is required to have an armed person -- whether a resource officer or school guardian -- on campus during school hours.
On Sunday's "The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com," News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth will be joined by Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood to talk about what students and parents can expect from the county's 35 school guardians.
"I've met every single one of them," Chitwood said. "Some of them I've known because they worked for me when I was police chief in Daytona Beach and others have worked for the Sheriff's Office. I think they all have a common theme: a protection mode."
The guardians will patrol the county's 44 elementary schools. Chitwood says each one was required to have a military or police background to be considered for the position.
"The folks that we're hiring, although they may have retired, they have a little bit of juice left in the tank," Chitwood said. "They believe this a noble effort and it needs to be done. There is a passion there that I detect in every single one of these individuals that they know what they're job is, and that job is to be that guardian. They know that if an active threat enters, they know what they have to do."
Chitwood will also discuss his "zero-tolerance" policy when it comes to school threats and how the district has hardened its campuses.
The remaining nine school guardian positions will be filled by September.
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