Maysville, KY’s The Ledger-Independent is reporting that an Adams County school district is the latest in Ohio to make plans allow teachers and other staff members to carry guns.
From the article:
After revealing the intent to arm school staff, Manchester Local Schools Superintendent Brian Rau posted answers to some frequently asked questions people may have with the situation in the school district’s February newsletter . To ensure the safety of students in the event of an active shooter situation, Rau said it is necessary to have someone ready to respond to the threat. Due to the lack of a police department in Manchester — the department was disbanded in 2017 — the Adams County Sheriff’s Office poses the only law enforcement agency to the town.
Rau told the newspaper that since he announced the decision to arm staff, the response has been somewhat positive to the notion, albeit with some still having some questions in regards to some logistical and ethical issues.
“The majority of people who have come to me have been positive,” he is quoted as saying.
Rau said in the newsletter that staff members will undergo training by the Tactical Defense Institute using the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response Program, or FASTER, in West Union, Ohio, and that the program itself is strictly voluntary. According to Rau, the trainers, trainees and weapons will be identical to law enforcement. “Those individuals will train for several hours over the course of several days, and must pass this course; not everyone passes this course,” he said. “The training is extremely rigorous and is mentally and physically difficult.” A combination of Rau, a deputy from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the School Resource Officer will be responsible for evaluating volunteers and determining who will be sent to the TDI training. If a staff member shows that they are not mentally competent to carry a weapon, then they will not be allowed to do so. Training through TDI will be free, Rau said, with the Buckeye Firearms Association paying for five people to undergo the training. Despite the possibility for five people to take the training for free, Rau said he wants to be thorough in determining who is fit for the program. … To further supplement the information posted in the newsletter, Rau also said he will also be putting additional information about the FASTER program in the March newsletter.
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 2,000 teachers and staff members from 250 school districts in 15 states. This includes teachers and staff in 77 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 over 3,000 faculty members from all over Ohio on our mailing list. 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 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. Restrictions apply.
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.