Lakeland Montessori school singled-out over school guardian law

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Most schools want to be recognized, but not the way Polk Sheriff Grady Judd is singling out Magnolia Montessori Academy in Lakeland.

“Every public and charter school is complying with the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas law, except Magnolia Montessori. Everyone,” said Judd.

The law requires a guardian - someone trained to carry and use a gun, in case an active shooter shows up - on every campus.

“The Majorie Stoneman Douglas Act requires that an officer be assigned to each school but it doesn’t mandate that they're there all day or every day,” said the president of the school's board of directors, Alyssa Totten.

Judd says that’s not true. He says the guardian must be there, full-time.

“They’re interpreting or ‘lawyerizing’ the law to their own benefit,” said Judd.

Magnolia Montessori is not the only school to have less than what Judd says the law requires. A number of schools in Orange County are sharing a guardian who spends a few hours at one school then moves to the next.

Judd said, at this point, there is no penalty for not following the Majorie Stoneman Douglas law, but during the next legislative session, the issue may be brought up. 

In the meantime, Totten says even though her school is not in lockstep with the others in Polk County, she is confident.

“I believe that our students are safe,” she told FOX 13.