Another Ohio school board votes to incorporate armed, trained staff members into safety plan
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that members of the East Guernsey Local Board of Education in Guernsey County took action Monday night that they hope will secure added safety for the children of the district.
After a two-hour executive session, the board unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the arming of select members of the staff.
More specifically, the board agreed to provide “written authorization for certain persons designated by the superintendent to convey deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone, or to possess a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone of the East Guernsey Local School District.”
In order to be an armed staff member, he or she must be permitted under Ohio law to carry a concealed handgun.
Additionally, the staff member must undergo tactical training and re-certify annually.
Meanwhile, in Butler Co., Ohio, Sheriff Rick Jones is making international news after calling for armed teachers in schools, and then advertising a free class for them to get concealed handgun license training. In less than 48 hours, more than 300 teachers applied for 50 available seats.
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 provided 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.