Another Ohio school board moves to protect its students with armed staff members
by Chad Baus
12:35PM Friday, March 30 2018
The Kenyon Collegian is reporting that another Ohio board of education has voted to authorize the arming of school staff members to decrease response time in the event of an active killer attack.
From the article:
The East Knox Board of Education passed a resolution this month that gives the superintendent the authority to allow staff members to carry weapons in school. The March 15 vote took place just over a month after 17 people were killed at a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 15.
East Knox Superintendent Steve Larcomb said the East Knox Board of Education has been considering a resolution to arm teachers since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
According to the article, Larcomb estimated it would take a Knox County officer at least six minutes to respond to an incident at the East Knox schools, and the new policy would cut that time considerably.
Larcomb is also exploring the possibility of having school resource officers provided by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Again, from the article:
Under the new resolution, Larcomb will decide who will be allowed to carry a weapon in school. To qualify, staff members must have a concealed-carry permit, and experience handling firearms from hunting or military training. In addition, staff members will need to go through training with the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights organization based in Columbus, OH that provides firearm training.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the nearby Mount Vernon City School District (MVCSD) Board of Education discussed the issue of school safety during their March 19 meeting, ultimately concluding they would not consider arming teachers.
Security-minded parents who live in places with differing philosophies at area schools may want to keep this in mind and consider open-enrolling in a school that is capable of providing immediate protection for their children.
In response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adult staff members, Buckeye Firearms Foundation launched an emergency response training program here in Ohio for teachers, administrators, and other school staff.
Called FASTER Saves Lives (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response), the nonprofit program has to date provide high-level training to nearly 1300 teachers and staff members from 225 school districts in 12 states. This includes teachers and staff in 76 of Ohio's 88 counties.
"The response from Ohio educators has been more enthusiastic than we could have ever imagined," said Joe Eaton, FASTER Program Director.
"When we first announced that we planned to train teachers in armed response and emergency medical aid," Eaton continued, "some people said teachers would never sign up. But within days of announcing the program, we had 600 apply for training. In weeks, it soared to over 1,000. Today we have nearly 2,000 faculty members from all over Ohio waiting in line for a chance to get this training. And more are contacting us every day."
The enthusiasm for this program has gone far beyond Ohio. School staff from six other states have attended FASTER training. In addition, instructors from as far away as Colorado have traveled to Ohio to see how the program works and take the idea back to their home state.
Created by concerned parents, law enforcement, and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts, FASTER is a groundbreaking, nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training.
The program is funded by thousands of small, individual donations to Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization based in Ohio and the sister organization to Buckeye Firearms Association. Classes can be provided at NO COST to school personnel or school districts.
The program presents a carefully-structured curriculum with over 30 hours of hands-on training over a 3-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately. It is a well-established fact that faster response to school shootings and other violence results in fewer lives lost.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.