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Shelby Co. Sheriff's office holds first concealed carry/ firearms training course for school administrators and select teachers
by Chad D. Baus
Dayton television stations WDTN (NBC) and WRGT (Fox) are reporting that Shelby Co. Sheriff John Lenhart held the first session of the free 16-hour gun training course he has developed for area teachers and school administrators.
"You tell me one more thing that's more important to do than to protect the kids of this county," says Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart
He never thought it would come to this.
"There's nobody that's excited about having guns in school. I mean this is last resort stuff, I get that. But what other alternatives do we have?" asks Sheriff Lenhart.
More than 60 teachers, administrators and staff from schools throughout Shelby County have signed up for the free 16-hour gun training course.
"If there's a way we can make sure to keep the students safe then we have to take every opportunity to do so," says Sidney High School teacher Joe Spangler.
The goal is not only to teach educators how to shoot, but also how to be offensive should a tragedy happen like the school shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last December.
"I'd like to know that I have the capability to do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe and if that means that I need to carry a gun, if that means that I need to be able to protect the halls of the school, then I definitely want to be able to do that," comments Hardin-Houston Local School District Superintendent Larry Claypool.
Sidney City Schools Superintendent John Scheu is also taking the course. He says the school board is considering lots of different ways to improve security in the district, including having armed resource officers in every school building, along with an armed response team.
WDTN also quotes Sheriff Lenhart as saying his office has seen a huge increase in the number of people getting their concealed handgun licenses, and that he couldn't think of a better way to use that extra money than to pay for this program.
In its coverage, WRGT reports that "many people who live in Shelby County love the idea."
"Security in our schools is really important," said Larry Adams of Sidney. "I have grandchildren in the school system and I want them to be safe just in case there is a shooting.
The training is being paid for through a federal grant given to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Lenhart says depending on how the first class goes, they'll train more.
"We'll train as many as we can, as long as the Superintendents and school boards allow us," he said.
"If you look at the recent shootings, I'm not sure if this would have save everybody, I'm not sure what you can do, but if you can save one then you should do that," said Spangler.
The plan is to have the guns in Shelby County schools by the beginning of 2013-2014 school year.
Buckeye Firearms Association has been publishing articles from authors calling for arming teachers for years now. Whenever the idea was proposed, gun ban extremists were outraged, and the media made anyone who suggested it out to be crazy.
When Jamison Grime, superintendent of Montpelier, OH's school district publicly announced that their school would implement a program to arm some school employees, he made international news. Since then, several other schools around the state have made the announcement that they have similar plans. Thanks to Grime and the Montpelier Board of Education, who took the heat for everyone, announcements like this one from Shelby County aren't even making it beyond regional news any more.
Making sure an armed response is part of the overall safety and security plan for schools is the moral and ethical thing to do to protect our children. Most Americans recognize this fact, and that is why these announcements are no longer being treated as though a nuclear bomb had just gone off.
Soon, the real heat is going to be focused on the schools who haven't taken these steps to protect the kids in their care.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. In March, his company, Northwest Self Defense L.L.C., is offering free training to 40 teachers and school employees from 17 northwest Ohio schools, thanks in part to a generous donation from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.