The North Thurston School District said it had received a “handful” of complaints about Anthony Triplett armed patrolling school neighborhoods.
LACEY, Wash. — Following the May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Anthony Triplett said his daughters had asked what schools are doing to protect them.
Triplett, an Army veteran, didn’t say enough.
Triplett, who retired from the Army on medical grounds in 2018, decided he wanted to help and began patrolling the sidewalks around his daughters’ schools in the North Thurston Public Schools district.
He now spends more than 20 hours a week walking around five locations in North Thurston.
“I think the educators should play their part and educate and not have to worry about being safety too,” Triplett said.
Triplett carries a pistol on his waist holster, he is licensed to carry it and stays on public sidewalks.
In all of his volunteer patrols, he has yet to take action, but he said he was ready.
“If I hear an explosion or gunshots, see a crowd of students running out, they say, ‘Someone shoot,’ I go in,” said Triplett, who served two combat missions in Afghanistan before dying from a combat leg injury.
Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said he would prefer Triplett to leave school safety to the professionals.
“That’s our job,” said Snaza, who said school resource officers assigned to North Thurston campuses need to complete additional training.
Snaza said he appreciates Triplett’s interest and said he would like to see more veterans volunteer in classrooms. Snaza thought that kind of presence would make campus safer.
A spokesman for North Thurston Public Schools said the district had received a “handful” of complaints from parents about Triplett’s presence, but said since Triplett is licensed to carry a firearm and as long as it remains on public property, there is nothing the schools or law enforcement can do to stop him.
Triplett said all of the personal feedback he’s received has been positive, but he knows he makes some uncomfortable.
He said it’s worth it if it makes the campus safer.
“What’s the better alternative we can do now to protect our children?” Triplet asked. “I’m free, I’m licensed, I’m trained and I’m ready.”
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/army-veteran-patrolling-north-thurston-public-schools/281-0adb0831-d533-4bf6-97e5-bfa49f6a1cb2 Armed veteran patrols on sidewalk outside of North Thurston schools after Texas school shooting