After the massacre at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, an army veteran and member of the Oath Keepers took the initiative to make sure his local high school was protected.
And he brought along his AR-15.
Mark Cowan is volunteering to stand guard outside of his local high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a member of Oath Keepers, an organization of former military, police, and first responders who volunteer to “defend the Constitution” in various ways around the country.
Cowan was part of the Oath Keepers group that stood guard outside of a local Army recruiting center after a shooting outside of another center. Now, he is determined to guard a local school until he knows the students are better protected.
An armed Oath Keeper began watch outside North Side High School Friday.
Mark Cowan, an Army Veteran, was moved to do something following the series of school shootings across the country and threats of violence at schools closer to home.
He found a spot off of school grounds, but close enough to keep an eye on people going in and out of the high school. Armed with a handgun and AR-15, Cowan told NewsChannel 15 he is there to protect the students and ward off anyone who is a threat to their safety.
He has been in contact with police in the neighborhood and the school’s resource officer.
Cowan planned to keep watch until additional safety measures are put in place.
The Oath Keepers held court at Glenbrook Commons for more than a year, keeping watch of the armed forces recruiting center until safety improvements were made there.
Cowan has been in contact with other Oath Keepers who have talked about the possibility of protecting other schools.
NewsChannel 15 reached out to Fort Wayne Community Schools for reaction. Spokesperson Krista Stockman shared a statement.
” We take the security of our schools very seriously,” the statement reads. “We understand he has a right to be out there, but we do not believe it adds to the safety of our students. At North Side, as at all of our schools, we have security procedures in place. In addition, at North Side, we have armed police officers in the building every day.”