A gaggle of Vietnam veterans not too long ago made a proposal to a Southern Utah school district that they’d patrol public faculties whilst wearing firearms. 

Their plea was once easy: We’re a useful resource. Use us.

Members of the Washington County School District School Board informed the veterans on the April 10 assembly that they’d carry up the speculation with a countywide school protection committee. According to the gang who made the proposal, they have not been ready to get a instantly resolution to their be offering. 

Now, it seems that the district is pronouncing thank you, however no thank you.

Veterans volunteer as armed guards 

Bruce Raftery, public data officer for Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961, informed board participants that his team has talked widely about gun violence in faculties.

CLOSEArmed Vietnam vets as school guards? Utah chapter makes proposal

Cedar City hosts a Libertarian party-led rally in beef up of gun rights and the 2d Amendment.
James M. Dobson/Spectrum & Daily News

“It exists, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” Raftery informed them. “At some point we may have to face it. We want to serve our community as we have served our country.”

Raftery mentioned the gang’s participants would provide their services and products for free of charge to the school district, and any coaching the veterans would be asked or required to finish could be paid for out of their very own wallet. 

MORE: Pennsylvania district: Intruders ‘will be stoned’ by students armed with rocks

The armed veterans, if licensed to face guard at public faculties, would paintings in collaboration with the St. George Police Department’s school useful resource officials, who’re already assigned to a number of faculties within the district. 

Each veteran who has volunteered to face guard on the faculties has been vetted, and they are all licensed to hold firearms, consistent with Raftery.

“They’re all combat veterans,” he mentioned. “These guys know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of. Veterans have been there, done that. Some have been shot during the war. They’re not afraid to do this, that’s not even the question.”

As some distance as post-traumatic pressure dysfunction is anxious, Raftery mentioned the volunteers could be keen to go through a mental research and unencumber their clinical historical past data.

“I don’t know if it’s a reflexive action and it would bring (the war trauma) back and have them go off the deep end,” Raftery mentioned. “It’s a possibility. If someone is shooting a gun, would that flip their switch? I don’t know.” 

According to Raftery, it merely simply makes sense to have veterans protective faculties. 

“They will run to the sound of the fire, not away from it, as they have done in the past for this country, and they would do it again,” he mentioned.

Raftery mentioned a number of folks and neighborhood participants would possibly no longer beef up the veteran team’s proposal to volunteer on the faculties; alternatively, he requested if the school district knew what number of in their academics elevate with out any person realizing. 

“They don’t know,” Raftery mentioned. “I just can’t see us turning our back on this situation. If it does happen, it’ll be the saddest thing this community has seen in a while.”

School district in a well mannered way declines 

Ultimately, it is the school board’s determination — no longer the police division’s — on whether or not armed veterans are allowed to patrol native faculties.

In a observation, Washington County School District Superintendent Larry Bergeson informed The Spectrum & Daily News the district applauds the veterans’ need to serve the neighborhood in this sort of profound manner, and that it is a nice instance of integrity. 

“Their willingness to step up and serve this country and community again, after so many years, speaks volumes about this amazing generation,” Bergeson wrote.

MORE: Two decades of school shooting survivors speak out about solutions

According to Bergeson, the district mentioned the proposal with native police departments, and there was once some purpose for fear. 

“There is some concern about putting armed individuals at our buildings who don’t have the same training and protocols as the police departments who oversee our school resource officers,” he said. 

Officials be offering veterans another

However, the school district does see a necessity for help at crosswalks all through the county.

Bergeson wrote within the observation they’d “love to have some help” referring to a couple of spaces and faculties which can be a priority to be able to get scholars to and from school safely. 

If the veterans had been to volunteer to lend a hand at crosswalks all through the county, they’d paintings in collaboration with the police.

At this time, Bergeson said, the school district will proceed to paintings with legislation enforcement and school-resources officials solely with reference to public school protection. 

“We will continue to work with our local police departments to find the right solutions which provides clarity and consistence in training for any future officers in our school buildings,” he mentioned.

Follow reporter Emily Havens on Twitter, @EmilyJHavens, and in finding her on Facebook at facebook.com/emilyjhavens. Call her at 435-674-6214 or e-mail her at ehavens@thespectrum.com. 


Poll: For the Columbine generation, gun violence is a defining fear

High schoolers still like their guns, even after Parkland

Nearly 1,000 participate in St. George March for Our Lives

Read or Share this tale: https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2018/05/16/armed-vietnam-vets-school-guards-utah-chapter-makes-proposal/615491002/