One marine decided to stand watch at his daughter’s school. The only problem is that he’s doing so in his uniform which is prohibited by the USMC.
In the wake of the Newtown, CT, shooting, many parents are wondering what they can do to keep their children safe at school.
That is why one Nashville father decided that if anyone was going to keep watch of his kids and their teachers, it would be him.
With no armed police and no metal detectors at Gower Elementary, there is just Staff Sgt. Jordan Pritchard.
"I feel like this is something I had to do," he said.
Like so many parents, Pritchard asked himself ‘what can I do?’ after 26 people – including 20 children – were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
His answer was to take his kids to school at Gower, then just stand out front, in full Marine uniform, and watch for any suspicious activity.
Calling him a guard is a bit of a stretch. He’s not official security and he has no weapon.
"What this uniform represents, the hope it brings, is larger than any weapon that I would ever need," Pritchard said.
The sight, alone, of a Marine standing in the front of the school, watching everyone who comes in, is providing a sense of security for many in the community.
"I said, ‘Boy, you don’t know how much better I feel having you standing here,’" said school parent Billy Hester.
"It’s awfully sad that we’re at this state – that you no longer can feel safe about your children walking into a building. But that’s where we are now," said Gower Principal Barbara Frazier.
Pritchard, who is the father of two Gower students, said he will stand watch at least until the holiday break.
He said he would like to see other veterans come to their children’s schools in uniform just to provide an extra sense of security.