Jacksonville school principal is packing heat

Charter school principal trained to carry gun to keep school safe

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville charter school principal is packing heat.

San Jose Academy & Preparatory High School’s principal is one of the first Duval County charter school employees to graduate from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s training academy for “safe school officers.”

Principal and Executive Director Alan Hall now walks through school hallways with the weight of a heavy responsibility on his belt.

Content Continues Below

If a school shooting happens there, it’s on him to respond.

“I’ve always worried, 'Oh my gosh, what would happen?' How am I going to put myself in those principals’ shoes that have actually had to live this? And I say, now, I at least have a chance to do something about it,” Hall said.

Before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, many charter schools in our area hired private armed security guards.

The new law requires all Florida schools to have either a sworn law enforcement officer or a safe school officer, which is a school employee that receives high-level firearms training.

In August, Action News Jax was the first to report JSO would provide armed officers at all Jacksonville charter schools until the sheriff’s office could train school employees to take over.

At San Jose Academy & Preparatory High School, Hall and another employee just completed their four-week JSO training.

“I’ve always had the leadership style that I’m not going to ask any of my people to do something I’m not willing to do,” Hall said.

Hall said the schools’ board approved a full-time safe school officer position. He plans to hire someone this school year.

JSO said employees at Seacoast Charter Academy and Global Outreach Charter Academy have also completed JSO firearms training.

School leaders discuss arming teachers