A southern Ohio school board has approved a 4-1 vote allowing trained teachers to carry firearms in their classroom.
The policy, passed earlier in the month by Manchester Local Schools, will allow up to five teachers or staff members on a school campus to carry a firearm. The policy requires that school staff who want to carry must take a 27-hour, three-day training course through the Tactical Defense Institute, and pay for the training out of pocket.
“We don’t have a police department. We do have the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, but they could be at quickest 20 minutes away. Most of the school shootings are finished within way before 20 minutes,” Superintendent Brian Rau said.
Though the district has a school resource officer, that person can’t be everywhere at the same time for 841 students and three buildings, Rau added.
“You always want to send the kids home in as good or better shape than the parents sent them to you in the morning,” Davis said. “I feel that being able to protect them in any way is guaranteeing that.”
The policy must be approved by the Ohio Board of Education before it takes effect.
Manchester Local Schools’ measure follows in the wake of Madison Local Schools, which won a ruling in favor of their approved teacher training being sufficient enough to allow carry their campus.
In June 2018, teachers and administrators underwent training by the FASTER Saves Lives program, leading the school board to authorize 10 personnel to carry concealed on campus. A group of parents objected and filed suit against the school district. “Instead, they wanted to require full training for peace officers—some 700 hours of coursework—as a condition for staff to carry,” reported a recent A1F article.
However, on Feb. 27, Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Pater, stated that the FASTER training was sufficient for the school employees. The level of training at 700 hours was deemed an onerous demand to complete.
“Given that no school employee could ever be expected to complete over 700 hours of training, and given the expense of hiring security or police officers, a loss by Madison Local Schools in this case could create precedent that could potentially prevent anyone from being armed in Ohio schools and making them completely defenseless from active killers looking for easy targets,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association.