The Ohio school district’s new policy allows teachers and staff to arm themselves with concerns about response time to gunshots.
According to the Marion Star, the River Valley Local School District in rural Marion County has joined 22 other school districts in the state that allow authorized employees to carry weapons on campus.
According to the outlet, Superintendent Adam Wickham said, “Our schools will no longer be defenseless.” “Most mass shootings happen in ‘no gun zones,’ or areas with minimal security measures. We don’t want our schools to be easy targets.”
Wickham continued, “As a rural community, for an active shooting, the response time can be as little as a few minutes.” “The use of armed personnel in our buildings allows for a more immediate response to threats, potentially saving lives. The recent school shootings in Nashville, Uvalde, and Parkland have shown that rapid response times can potentially save lives. can save.”
The superintendent said armed staff would be deployed to four buildings in each district, including a high school, a middle school and two elementary schools, in addition to a campus resource officer from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Wickham said that the community’s response to the policy was mostly positive, despite concerns from some parents, according to local media.
“Some expressed questions about the training and selection process,” he said. “Most parents appreciated the proactive approach to protecting their children, which is a major reason for adopting the use of armed staff.”
“While we understand that not everyone supports this program, all security measures are being taken at River Valley, including the use of armed personnel, to ensure that staff and students can safely return home to their families and loved ones.” Can return. And every day ”
Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 99 on June 13, 2022, which authorizes school districts across the state to allow teachers, principals and other staff to receive 24-hour instruction and to carry guns in the classroom . Lawmakers swiftly passed the bill despite criticism from some Democrats that it sent the wrong message following a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
According to Wickham, armed personnel in the field should receive more training than the state recommends. In 2020, the district required a total of 50 training hours.