What to Know
- Petty is not allowed to officially serve a school in the county since he is not a resident, but joined four others in the ceremony.
The father of one of the 17 victims of the tragic Parkland school shooting last year became an honorary school guardian in a Central Florida county this week.
Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was one of the 17 people killed in the February 14, 2018 shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, took the oath for the program in Polk County after passing training courses over several weeks.
“The best way I can honor Alaina is to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Petty told NBC affiliate WFLA-TV during the Thursday event.
Petty is not allowed to officially serve a school in the county since he is not a resident, but joined four others in the ceremony in which he called guardians “heroes.”
“They’ve decided to step up and be that person that’s going to stop that evil,” he said to the guardians. “I wish you had been there for my daughter.”
The new program signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis allows for school personnel to carry weapons on school property after undergoing training courses.
Counties can opt to not take part in the program, which Broward County chose not to do.