BEDFORD, Va. - Mindy Combs has two children at Liberty Christian Academy.
"That is one of the reasons why I chose LCA. Not (just) because of their biblical foundations, but also because of the safety measures that are taken, more so than at public school systems,” Comb said.
The private school has certain staff and faculty who are always armed and ready.
“The key is that you have to find and you have to train the people that you're going to allow to carry inside a school building. It makes our community feel safer and it makes our staff and our teachers feel safer,” Dr. John Patterson, superintendent, said.
Florida's high school shooting has Bedford County's Sheriff Mike Brown saying it's more evident now that public school teachers also need to be armed.
"I would insist the Sheriff's Office recommend the weapon that they use. It may be a revolver; it may be an automatic I don't know,” Brown said.
Brown said before putting a gun in a teacher's hand, they must be selected or have volunteered.
He says his office would train them on the weapons. And he suggests they take a psychological evaluation and pass Virginia Department of Criminal Justice qualification course, with a score of 75 or above.
"I would also insist that the teachers they select to be trained and to be armed also provide them not only with a handgun, but they also provide them with a ballistic vest,” Brown said.
And although these are only Brown's suggestions, LCA officials say it took them two years to implement and have some of their staff fully trained.
But it now works for them.
"I would invite any public school and any politician to come here to LCA and see what we do across the board,” Patterson said.
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