Nick Freitas is a Virginia Republican legislator and a U.S. Senate candidate.
Freitas, who is a father of three and who served two combat tours in the Middle East as a Green Beret, has been identifying school security needs and has been outlining solutions. He has also been implementing solutions for Virginia in the Virginia legislature.
Freitas wants to put emphasis on school safety, to protect America’s children. This is one of the issues on his U.S. Senate campaign platform and how Kyle Kashuv became involved.
Kashuv announced that after discussing school security with Freitas, he endorses Freitas for U.S. Senate and trusts Freitas to “lead the fight in the U.S. Senate to make our schools safer.”
Freitas discussed his school security plans with me. Here is what he had to say.
“Harden our schools”
Nick Freitas explained that our schools are seen as “soft targets” by shooters. Freitas believes that we need schools to be “hard targets.” We need to make it very difficult for a threat to get in, and if in, to cause mass casualties.
Hardening our schools requires a professional evaluation of each school to determine specific needs for the implementation of various security measures. Security measures include increased police presence, metal detectors, alarm systems, safety drills, and better communications between law enforcement agencies and the school.
Freitas explained that many Virginia schools already have an armed school resource officer. Nonetheless, he fought for, and Virginia passed, a bill to allow schools to hire qualified, former law enforcement personnel to expand school security if they desire additional protection. Freitas believes that adding armed protection for schools in this way will harden the schools.
But each school is unique in its needs.
“Localities need to be empowered to make decisions”
Freitas, who is a classic Constitutionalist, believes that localities are in the best position to determine what is necessary to secure their school. He wants to empower localities to make particularized safety decisions for their schools.
“We don’t want to dictate terms to individual schools … We don’t want EVERY school to have metal detectors, that will be very expensive and not cost-effective … We need to look at it empirically and practically,” Freitas stated. Schools need to have professional evaluations conducted of their weaknesses and their security needs. And each school needs to implement a personalized solution.
“We want to save everybody”
Freitas believes that many school shooters are children with problems and that they can be saved before they start.
This starts with “identifying someone who is isolated and bringing them in,” he states. Freitas believes that educating students on the power of human connection is of utmost importance in stopping these incidents before they start. We need to “empower students,” he says, teach students “that they have power as individuals to reach out and offer friendship early on when someone looks like they need someone to talk to. It is amazing the power that people have. ”
Freitas also discussed the need for Trauma-informed education in schools. This is a theory of educating teachers to recognize, understand and address the learning needs of children impacted by trauma. Freitas believes that teachers need to look out for signs of trouble in a student and to seek out help for the student.
“It is our obligation to achieve greater school security”
Freitas advised that he firmly believes that political parties must work together on the issue of school security. It is happening in Virginia and needs to happen in the U.S. Senate.
Freitas is ready and willing to work with anyone, from any political party, to agree on school security measures. “We need to focus on those security measures we all agree on instead of those we do not. We can protect students and protect people’s Second Amendment rights, and that is what I am committed to.”