Armed Teachers: Over 600 Have Applied for Training
After the mass murder at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, Buckeye Firearms Foundation announced that they would provide free firearms training to teachers and school administrative staff.
So far, the Armed Teacher Training Program has attracted more than 600 applicants from all parts of Ohio and several from other states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. More teachers inquire about the program every day.
"We knew this would be popular, but the response has exceeded our expectations," said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the non-profit Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "People doubted if we would fill the first class. That happened in hours. This is something many in our schools have been asking about for a long time. We are already looking past the first class to future dates and locations to meet the demand."
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While Ohio generally prohibits firearms at schools, the law includes a provision that allows teachers and staff to carry firearms if the school board approves it. The Armed Teacher Training Program seeks to help teachers get permission to carry concealed firearms on the job and provide advanced training that goes above and beyond the typical requirements of concealed carry.
"For too long, many school administrators have been living in denial," explained Irvine. "They believed that rules prohibiting guns in schools would prevent violence. But what we've seen over and over again is that mass murderers don't obey these restrictions. So schools have become victim zones filled with easy targets who are unable to respond effectively.
"So our idea is very simple. Let's allow volunteer teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms on the job. They will all have a state-issued Concealed Handgun License. They will all have greater than average training. And they will all go through a background check. It works effectively for concealed carry in malls, office buildings, public parks, and millions of other highly populated locations. It will work in schools too."
Irvine says the program is entirely voluntary. "No one will be forced to be armed if they choose not to. The strategy is the same as ordinary concealed carry. No one will ever know who is or is not armed. Those who would seek to do harm in schools should be met with armed resistance even before law enforcement shows up. Over time, schools will no longer be considered easy, risk-free targets."
Irvine says the idea isn't new. "For 25 years, citizens in the U.S. have been legally carrying concealed firearms. A total of 49 states now allow concealed carry, some with no licensing or training of any kind. The concept has worked remarkably well. Most of those who were initially skeptical now admit that citizens can be trusted to act lawfully and responsibly. Millions of ordinary people carry firearms in malls, on buses and city streets, and in restaurants and office buildings. It works for average citizens even in highly populated locations, so why would anyone assume armed teachers in schools would be any different?"
Who is applying for the Armed Teacher Training Program? "We're getting a cross section of middle America," said Dean Rieck, Marketing and Communications Director for Buckeye Firearms Association. "More than a third of applicants are women. Over 70 percent are teachers, but there are also administrators, office staff, and guidance counselors. Half work in high schools, but many work in kindergartens, grade schools, and middle schools. And there's a fairly even distribution of applicants from urban, suburban, and rural areas."
A few people have questioned the idea of arming teachers who have no firearm experience or may be uncomfortable with guns. "That's a misunderstanding of what we're doing," said Rieck. "Applicants for the program are not firearm novices. More than half already have a Concealed Handgun License. About 40 percent of our applicants say they have previous self-defense training. Over 60 percent say they have moderate to extensive firearm experience. And over 80 percent have experience with handguns.
"Graduates will have to pass the same test as law enforcement. Plus, we're going above and beyond to provide training that will be on an advanced level and focused exclusively on active shooter response tactics."
Buckeye Firearms Foundation is currently helping to develop the curriculum and guidelines for the Armed Teacher Training Program. The first class date is expected to be spring of 2013. Funding will come from private and corporate donations.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a non-profit educational organization based in Ohio and staffed by volunteers.
To support this program, click the donate button.
Akron Beacon-Journal - Ohio firearms group says response 'overwhelming' to offer for firearms training for teachers
The Buckeye Firearms Association says it has received an "overwhelming" response, some from Northeast Ohio, to its offer to train school personnel in firearms.
Association President Jim Irvine of Strongsville said about 500 teachers, bus drivers, administrators and janitors statewide have volunteered for 24 slots in its pilot training program to be held in the spring.
The group announced its program last week in the wake of the shootings of 26 children and adults at a school in Newtown, Conn.
But Irvine and other association members had been thinking about offering the training for years, he said.
"The goal is to make schools realize that you've got to do more than put a sticker on a door," said Irvine, a professional pilot with young children of his own. “That's not security. People, we're living in denial."
The National Rifle Association has proposed placing an armed officer at each school nationwide, some of which — especially in urban areas — already have police on duty.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council also recently provided six hours of free gun training to almost 200 teachers in that state.
The Utah program appears to be more modest than the Ohio one is shaping up to be.
Irvine said organizers will select participants from every corner of the state, at every level from kindergarten through high school. The first batch of students to be selected will be those with concealed-carry permits so that trainers don't have to cover the basics of pulling a trigger, he said.
The training will cover more than firearms and tactics, he said. As the biggest cause of death for shooting victims is bleeding to death, the course will teach treatment of the injured.
"EMTs won't come into the building until police say its safe," Irvine said. "You have to have people who can apply pressure bandages and stabilize the patient and stop the clock."
Eventually, the program could be farmed out statewide to every school employee who is interested, he suggested. He wants to develop a curriculum that the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy can offer to school employees.
In the meantime, the Buckeye Firearms Association will offer three days of free training this March or April at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union in Adams County.
The association's foundation will cover the $1,000 per student cost for tuition, ammunition and lodging, Irvine said.
Representatives of local and state teachers’ unions could not be reached for comment.
Associated Press - Ohio teachers learning to fire guns (appearing in hundreds of news outlets around the state and across the country)
A gun rights group says more than 650 Ohio educators have expressed interest in a firearms training program announced after 20 children and six educators were killed at a Connecticut school.
The Buckeye Firearms Association was accepting applications for 24 spots in a free, three-day class to train teachers to use firearms. It said costs for the Armed Teacher Training Program would be covered by its educational foundation and outside donations.
The foundation's president says the response from hundreds of educators has been overwhelming.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he would support allowing trained school officials access to a gun during classes if he were a school board member, but also said such decisions should be up to each district.
A pro-gun group called the Buckeye Firearms Foundation says it plans to send 24 school teachers through a training program to avoid mass murders in Ohio schools, which it called "victim zones." The organization, which has been holding classes for cops and civilians in rural Adams County near Cincinnati for about 15 years, calls the program the Armed Teacher Training Program. So far, there is no word about how many teachers have applied, but the firearms group says it has been flooded with applications.
This move by the in-state gun lobby — which appears to be trying to capitalize off a tragedy linked to another slaughter — echoes the National Rifle Association's call for arming teachers after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It seems designed to push back against efforts to control access to assault rifles and plays off fears that teachers can save students by shooting it out with bad guys.
In online photos at the Adams County site, there are people with military style guns, all apparently engaged in legal activities on private property.
The three-day shooting course for teachers in Ohio is supposed to cost $1,000, and the firearms association says it will pick up the tab for the educators it accepts into the class. That means it's putting its money where its munitions are — it is serious about training but does not offer to arm the teachers or buy them guns and bullets. It says it will keep the names of the teachers secret if they ask for confidentiality. The instructors are supposed to include "professional law enforcement personnel" who have faced active shooter situations:
"We believe that while there are many things we can do to help avoid mass murders at schools, it is imperative we allow teachers and administrators to respond quickly and effectively. That means having at least a few armed personnel on the scene so schools are no longer 'victim zones.' We have resolved to create a curriculum for a standardized Armed Teach Training Program which can be adopted around the county."
More information about the Tactical Defense Institute can be found here. The questionnaire to apply for the Armed Teacher Training Program can be found here.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Local teachers apply for free gun training from a gun advocacy group
More than 70 local teachers and school officials have joined a flood of educators across the state – and from neighboring ones – applying for free gun training aimed at stopping assailants in schools.
The Buckeye Firearms Association is offering a three-day course to a limited number of educators that includes handling armed attackers in busy areas, along with basic gun safety and handling.
Since announcing the offer last month in the wake of the Connecticut school killings, 765 teachers and administrators have applied for the training, Gerard Valentino, the group's secretary, said Thursday.
The group won't release names of any of the applicants, but Valentino said there are applicants who work in the Cleveland and Akron school districts, as well as Northeast Ohio suburbs. He estimated that a little more than 10 percent of the applicants are from the Cleveland area, with the vast majority coming from further south.
"We've seen teachers from every part of the spectrum – not only from the state of Ohio, but we've gotten requests from outside the state," Valentino said. "Men, women, teachers, principals."
The group believes that an armed response is the best way to stop a shooter in a school and keep casualties low, he said.
How many teachers will receive training and whether they'll ever be able to carry guns in their schools is still to be determined.
Guns are generally not allowed in Ohio schools, Valentino said, though state law seems to give individual districts the right to allow them. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said last month that districts should consider having an armed person in each school.
Daniel Rambler, head of security for the Akron schools, said he was not aware of any applicants from the district, but guns would not be allowed even if an educator completed training.
"A teacher can train to use a gun in their free time, just like anybody else," Rambler said. "They can't, however, bring a gun in or near Akron Public Schools buildings."
Cleveland schools spokeswoman Roseann Canfora declined to comment.
It's also unclear how many educators would receive the training, and when. The association has committed to training one class of 24 at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union. Between the program costs, ammunition and lodging, the group estimates it will cost about $1,000 per person.
Valentino said the group has the money to pay for a few classes, but needs donations to expand the program further.
"It's driven by the donations we get," he said.
The first class could be in the summer, he said, though if the group sponsors more classes it might schedule some sooner.
Valentino said keeping private the names of gun carriers in schools prevents assailants from targeting them first in any attacks and makes attackers wary of whether there is anyone armed in a particular school.
"Nobody would know who is armed, when they're armed, anything," he said. "Part of what makes a program like this successful is nobody knowing."
An application for the training is available on the homepage of buckeyefirearms.org.
Columbus Dispatch - Hundreds of Ohio school workers want to carry guns
More than 450 teachers and other school employees from around Ohio have applied for 24 spots in a free firearms-training program being offered by the Buckeye Firearms Association.
"We're pleasantly surprised, but it's not shocking," Ken Hanson, legal chairman for the association, said today of the response since the group began taking applications on its website 10 days ago. "The demand has been there for quite some time."
The issue of arming school employees to protect students has been "on the radar" of school boards in Ohio for several years, he said, but the organization decided to launch its training program after the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
"That was the breaking point," he said. "We decided it's time to quit talking about it and move forward."
The first firearms class, a three-day program at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union in Adams County, hasn't been scheduled nor have the participants been chosen. Applications are being accepted at buckeyefirearms.org, the website of the group, which lobbies for the rights of gun owners.
The same week that the Buckeye Firearms Association announced its offer, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said schools should consider arming “someone” in their buildings as the first line of defense against a gunman. Beginning Jan. 14, his office will work with law enforcement and educators to train teachers and administrators to deal with "active shooters."
The local police union expressed concerns this week about arming teachers or others who work in schools.
"It's our position that there should be law-enforcement officers in schools," said Jason Pappas, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9. "To have civilians with guns in schools who could be mistaken for an active shooter only causes confusion for law enforcement."
Columbus school-board member Mike Wiles also prefers trained police officers in schools. He's willing to listen to all options for keeping students safe, but he said the notion of arming staff members would require support from "the board, the community, the staff, the parents, everybody."
Hanson said his group likes the idea of police officers in schools but worries that those school officers are among the first lost to budget cuts when school districts encounter financial problems.
Arming teachers and other school employees is “budget neutral,” he said.
Although the Buckeye Firearms Association will fund the first class in its Armed Teacher Training Program, Hanson estimated the cost for tuition, ammunition and lodging for each participant at $1,000.
More than 70 percent of the school employees who have applied are teachers, about half of whom work in elementary schools, he said. Others are administrators and even custodians and food-service workers.
Beginners won't be accepted. The program is looking for applicants with "significant prior firearms experience," Hanson said.
John Benner, a former member of the Hamilton County regional SWAT team who owns the Tactical Defense Institute, said the class will be an intensive three-day program in dealing with active shooters.
By the end of the course, only participants who can pass the same firearms tests administered to law-enforcement officers should be armed in a school, Benner said.
"If they can't qualify, they shouldn't be carrying a gun," he said. "There has to be some standard."
Whether any of those who complete the course can carry guns in schools will be up to individual school boards and perhaps the state legislature.
The Ohio Revised Code allows school boards to give individuals written authorization to carry a gun on school grounds, Hanson said. The law, an exception to the ban on guns in schools, is found in ORC 2923.122.
But the legal counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association sees another legal hurdle to arming teachers or other school employees.
Hollie Reedy referred to ORC 109.78, which says that no public or private educational institution is permitted to employ a person "who goes armed while on duty" unless the person has completed a basic peace-officer training program or has
20 years of active duty as a peace officer.
"(Section) 2923.122 is not the end of the story," Reedy said. "We have to look at other parts of the code."
Jonathan Fulkerson, deputy chief counsel for the state attorney general, disagreed with her interpretation of ORC 109.78, which he said addresses the hiring of special police officers or security guards.
"I don't see how 109.78 would apply to a teacher," he said. "It covers a whole other area."
Dayton Daily News - 600 apply for gun training
Hundreds of Ohio school officials have signed up for the free Armed Teacher Training Program offered in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December.
"There have been over 600 applicants overall, and by now it might be over 600 from Ohio," Jim Irvine, one of the founders of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said Wednesday. "We threw it up on a map and (applicants) cover the whole state. I wouldn't be surprised if we had somebody from each of our 88 counties."
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization that predominantly serves Ohio, reportedly received requests from more than a dozen states regarding its free training offer. Separate gun and defense-related groups in Utah and North Carolina offered similar free training for teachers recently, and also received hundreds of responses.
The idea of whether arming school staff members as a possible solution to school violence is still hotly debated.
"Policy-makers should re-examine the expanded availability of weapons in public places, not add schools to the list," said Ohio Education Association President Patricia Frost-Brooks. "Instead of arming educators, they can enhance school safety with more counselors, better mental health services and partnering with local police to deter violence in schools."
Roughly 70 percent of the applicants were teachers, and there also were administrators, office staff members and guidance counselors.
"There are men and women, from public and private schools, big schools, small schools, the lunch lady, bus driver – the common thread is that they all care about safety," Irvine said. "These people really care about our kids more than the average person realizes. I guess we always knew about that, but it really comes through in their comments."
The foundation agreed to fund the first class of 24, including tuition, ammunition and lodging, at a cost of about $1,000 per participant, via private and corporate donations. Irvine said, after that, there will be a need for sponsors.
"We need to put together some serious funding," he said. "We want to focus on getting one class done excellent first, then review and get feedback from students in class."
Frost-Brooks was responding to a statement released by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Dec. 19 that urged training for school personnel intended to prevent tragedies such as the one that claimed 28 lives, including 20 children, in Newtown.
"The truth is that, while we train first responders, the real first responders in these tragedies are teachers," DeWine said. "They're the ones who are there. They're the ones that are going to make the life and death decisions. They're the ones that are going to do what they can do to save lives."
DeWine said whether to arm teachers should be left to the discretion of individual school boards. According to Ohio Revised Code 2923.122, boards of education can grant written authorization for individuals to carry a gun on to school grounds.
Frost-Brooks said she disagreed that arming school personnel was a solution to school violence, and emphasized that each school district should review its safety plan, train relevant personnel, and make careful decisions on school safety and security measures.
"Teachers and other school employees should not be asked to serve a dual role, armed with concealed weapons to face school intruders as Mr. DeWine suggests," Frost-Brooks said. "We are focused on student success and providing quality education to students."
Centerville Superintendent Tom Henderson also discussed improving school safety, but not necessarily via firearms.
"We have school resource officers in our buildings right now, not one in every single building 24/7," said Henderson, noting the strong partnership between the district and the police and sheriff's department. "But right now, in my opinion, I'm just not in favor of arming educators."
School resource officers, who often are members of local police departments, are usually the only armed individuals on school grounds. The National Association of School Resource Officers also has come out against the arming of teachers and other school staff members.
The group issued the following statement Dec. 21: "NASRO believes that only a fully-trained law enforcement officer should carry a firearm on school property. In addition, law enforcement officers assigned permanently to schools should receive specialized SRO training as soon as possible."
Irvine responded to concerns about teachers being armed or the dangers of increasing the amount of guns in schools, saying the aim is to increase training to people who are already in place to keep kids safe.
"Some people say guns aren't the solution, but when you call 911 you're calling people with guns to make you safe," he said. "The idea here is not guns; the idea is safety and security. Anything we can do to lower that body count. That's what we're after."
Irvine said the curriculum and guidelines of the firearms training program offered to teachers, which is slated to be conducted by the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union starting this spring, is still being developed and will be specific to the school environment.
He said the class would include how to deal with active shooters, barricade techniques, as well as medical training to treat those injured.
"People die from gunshots; from bleeding to death," he said. "In these situations, people can't get into the building until its cleared. The time line just doesn't work. They'll be taught to bandage and about tourniquets — if you went to school more than 10 years ago, the world of tourniquets has changed."
He said those who have concealed carry permits and teachers already must pass background checks, but there will be additional background checks for participants in this class. They also may need to pass the same test given to law enforcement personnel — some of whom have applied for this class, as well.
Irvine said the bottom line is giving teachers more tools and training.
"Guns are not a solution to every problem, but they can be a tool," he said.
Dayton Daily News - Response 'overwhelming' to armed teacher program
A free program to train teachers and school administrators on how to use firearms has gotten an overwhelming response.
Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, reports that more than 650 educators in Ohio have expressed interest in the Armed Teacher Training Program.
Irvine's organization decided to offer the program following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct., where 20 children and six educators were killed.
Irvine said he knew the training would be popular.
"We're up over 650 people just from Ohio. It's really been an overwhelming response," he said.
Ohio law allows school staff members to carry firearms as long as the school board approves it.
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a non-profit educational organization based in Ohio and staffed by volunteers.
Irvine said the idea is to provide educators more advanced training than is required for a concealed carry permit.
The program is still being developed and the first class has not been scheduled.
For more information, visit www.BuckeyeFirearms.org.
Less than three weeks after the slaughter at Sandy Hook, an Ohio gun owners' group has launched an "Armed Teacher Training" program. As of yesterday, more than 750 educators in 15 states -- including "multiple applicants" from Washington -- have informed the Buckeye Firearms Foundation that they are fired up and ready to go.
To paraphrase the National Rifle Associations' chief lunatic Wayne LaPierre, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good teacher with a gun." Now, there's a motto the Buckeye gun group might want to run up a flap pole and see if anyone salutes.
Sean Maloney, a criminal defense attorney in the Cincinnati area -- and member of the Foundation -- told The Daily Weekly yesterday that the first class in the pilot program will accept 24 teachers for a comprehensive 3-day training class at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio. All major expenses will be covered, including tuition, ammunition, and lodging (which are expected to total approximately $1,000 per teacher).
To date, three states -- Utah, Texas and Alabama -- allow teachers to carry concealed weapons to school, though it is legal in Ohio to bring a concealed weapon on school grounds if a school district has granted permission.
Foundation chairman Jim Irvine expects more school districts will sign-off on gun-toting teachers in light of the Dec. 14 mayhem, where 20 young children and 6 adults were executed by Adam Lanza with a Bushmaster assault rifle ("Consider Your Man Card Reissued") capable of firing 180 rounds a minute.
"School boards were just in denial. That denial got ripped away in Newtown, Conn. The idea is to make it hard to kill a kid," he said.
Maloney -- who by the way thinks LaPierre's insane suggestion to put armed guards in "every single one" of America's 135,000 public and private schools is not a bad idea -- would not disclose the exact number of applications the Buckeye Firearms Foundation has received from Washington state.
"I can only say there were multiple applicants," he said.
Whatever the case, Maloney is bullish about the quality of training school teachers will get at the Tactical Defense Institute, a 15-year-old program featuring classrooms and seven shooting ranges, all of which sit on 186 rural acres in southern Ohio. It's a lovely place to hear the birdsong after a grueling day of gun fire.
The school personnel chosen for the class must already have basic firearms training and a concealed carry permit, and come with their own handgun, holster, extra magazines and speed loaders.
"Not only do they learn safe gun handling, storage, and transport," noted Maloney, "but they'll learn how to draw from a concealed-carry position and how to barricade themselves properly."
The Foundation will decide by the end of the month on the 24 lucky teachers who will be chosen to go, all expenses paid, for three days of glorious gun play in the undulating hills that make West Union, Ohio, such a special place.
One can only imagine the anticipation!
StateImpact Ohio - Q&A: Buckeye Firearms Association to Arm and Train Teachers
After the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, both the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association stated the best way to prevent future school shootings is by arming and training teachers and other school personnel.
The Buckeye Firearms Association is offering a pilot training course for 24 teachers in the spring, but just two weeks after announcing the program it’s already overflowing - 600 people have applied.
StateImpact Ohio caught up with Buckeye Firearms Association's Jim Irvine to talk about training and arming teachers, and the concerns some folks have about putting a gun in every classroom.
Q: What will the training be like?
A: It won't be until March or April. It has to be conducted in an outside range, a dynamic range as they're called, because it's just something you can't do shooting down lanes at a firing range, so weather is a factor in Ohio and the class is not completely designed yet.
In a traditional shooting range you're in a shooting lane, but classrooms aren't conducted in lanes. The threat can come from anywhere; the threat can come from multiple directions. You have to analyze the threat in a 3D environment. We want to train for the real event.
We're not teaching the class, we're paying for the class. We're just facilitating.
We have to change the mindset in schools and get some good people in schools that are the first line of defense. This isn't a new idea it's just that the events in Connecticut make what we've been talking about for years all of a sudden politically acceptable. Now everything is on the table, this is something that can and will be done.
Q: How do you choose which teachers get to participate?
A: We've got hundreds of teachers who will apply for the 24 spots to do this. (Ed. Note: at last count 600 teachers from Ohio and other states have applied.)
We're going to go through the applicants and pick out 24 to be a good representation of different groups. That includes different teachers of different grade levels; males and females, public and private, rural, urban and suburban teachers, and people in schools who aren't teachers. We want to touch all the bases. We’ll learn from this program. Make sure this works for all the intended people that need to take a class for this and then roll it out. This is not designed to be an ending.
We intend to lead the nation and let's rethink our school security.
Q: Some people argue arming teachers isn't a good idea. What do you say to them?
A: We're not proposing just arm all the teachers, but that's a step. Our society needs to predict, is there risk factors that says does this person need some intervention? If you can't, we need to look at hardening our schools. We've done a lot since 9/11. Look at the things that have worked well and duplicate them. Look at those things that haven't and replace them.
And we need to build layers of defense. This maybe is the most important thing, and it goes against what we've been saying for 30 years, and that is you've got to fight. These events continue until the killer meets resistance. This is a situation that not only allows fighting but demands it.
Q: Columbine had an armed officer in the school when the shooting happened there. If it didn't work there, why would arming folks in schools work elsewhere?
A: That's true. There was. We're not saying to get rid of school resource officers. We would love to have one in every school.
I find it funny that the same people that say that about Columbine are the same ones who want to ban high capacity assault weapons. The school resource officer is one guy that's armed and everybody knows who that is. That's the one guy you want to kill first.
Cops get shot at more often than the average citizen. That's the guy that you take out first.
With concealed carry, we don't see that because you don't know who the person (carrying a gun) is. We need to hide the identity of whatever teachers or administrators are carrying a gun so [a shooter] can't go kill that person first and then slaughter everyone else in the building.
Q: Others have pointed out that placing guns in the classrooms might be dangerous if a teacher snaps, or if a student gets a hold of the weapon. What happens if a teacher uses their gun to attack their own school?
A: If the teacher's going to snap, the teacher's going to snap. There's nothing that prevents that from happening. It's not a bigger threat now than it will be then. It could happen, but it hasn't happened yet.
Q: What if a student gets a hold of the teacher's weapon?
A: As far as the accidental stuff, that is something that does need to get looked at.
Maybe we should look at doing some training in schools, like the Eddy Eagle program from the NRA. My kids watch it, it's just as annoying as Barney. But I'm never going to say no to that.
Yes that is a potential risk, and we should look at it.
But, frankly, it hasn't been a problem. A couple other states have been arming teachers for years. Texas, there's a well known school in Texas that has done it. Alabama and Utah. Connecticut used to allow guns in schools, but changed their law in 1998.
I'm willing to listen to anybody and even if you're afraid of guns, maybe they can come up with something that we didn't think of.
Sun News Network (Toronto, Ontario) -
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) -
WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) - Some Ohio teachers and administrators sign up for firearms training
WJR 700 AM (Detroit) -
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Ohio teachers to receive firearms training
Soon, two dozen Ohio teachers won't just be taking aim at test scores. They'll be taking aim at stopping violence in schools.
"It's something that needs to happen not only in Ohio, but in other states. We defend our gold with guns, and leave our kids defenseless," said Gerard Valentino, with the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.
Valentino says selecting 24 teachers out of the more than 600 who have applied will be difficult. "It's really been all socio-economic backgrounds, all school backgrounds, all age ranges - you name it," Valentino said.
The majority of them have been women.
Financial support is also pouring in from people in countries with strict gun laws, such as Great Britain, Canada and Australia, but Valentino says not everyone's on board. "We've had an email where somebody, who pretended to be from the anti-gun movement said, 'if they had their way, it would've been the Buckeye Firearms Foundation leaders' children in school at Sandy Hook, instead of 20 innocent children.'"
Valentino says that email drives home even more why protecting children in schools is so important.
WKYC (NBC Cleveland) - Hundreds of Ohio teachers sign up for free firearms training
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show" -
WNWO (NBC Toledo) -
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Debate Over Arming Teachers (click on link for streaming video)
The Buckeye Firearms Association offered a free three-day tactical defense and gun training session to twenty-four Ohio teachers. Nearly five hundred school workers from across the state have expressed interest. Ken Hanson with Buckeye Firearms says they are all types of workers, "Elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, principals, school secretaries, lunchroom workers, custodians, teachers—all of these people have been responding. This is not basic training. This is not people sitting in a classroom learning this is a barrel, this is a trigger, this is a grip."
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - 600 Teachers Apply For Gun Training
It was less than two weeks ago that the Buckeye Firearms Foundation said it would offer 24 Ohio teachers free firearms training.
The group told ABC 6 today, response has been through the roof, with 600 plus applicants.
That list will be whittled down and soon two dozen teachers won't just be taking aim at test scores, they'll be taking aim at stopping violence in schools.
"It's something that needs to happen not only in Ohio, but in other states," said Gerard Valentino, from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "We defend our gold with guns, and leave our kids defenseless."
Valentino says the applicants are from all socio economic backgrounds, all school backgrounds, and all age ranges.
The majority of them have been women.
He also says financial support is pouring in from people in countries with strict gun laws, like Britain, Canada and Australia.
But Valentino says not everyone's on board: the group has gotten disturbing phone calls and emails. "We've had an email where somebody, who pretended to be from the antigun movement, said if they had their way, it would've been the Buckeye Firearms Foundation leaders' children in school at Sandy Hook, instead of 20 innocent children," he said.
But Valentino says that email drives home even more why protecting children in schools is so important.
The training will take place at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County.
ABC 6 reached out to the Ohio Education Association for comment, but they haven't returned our calls.
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WXIX (FOX Cincinnati) - Ohio firearms group provides training to teachers, staff
DELAWARE, OH (FOX19) - The Buckeye Firearms Foundation will be providing free firearms training to teachers and school administrative staff. This announcement following the devastating shooting that left 27 dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT in December.
As of Wednesday, the Armed Teacher Training Program has attracted more than 600 applicants from several states including Ohio, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.
"We knew this would be popular, but the response has exceeded out expectations," said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "People doubted if we would fill the first class. That happened in hours. This is something many in our schools have been asking about for a long time."
While the state of Ohio generally prohibits firearms at school, the law includes a provision that allows teachers and staff to carry firearms if approved by the school board.
The Armed Teacher Training Program is completely voluntary.
"No one will be forced to be armed if they choose not to. The strategy is the same as ordinary concealed carry. No one will ever know who is or is not armed. Those who seek to do harm in schools should be met with armed resistance, even before law enforcement shows up. Over time, schools will no longer be considered easy, risk-free targets."
More than a third of the program's applicants are women.
While 70% of the applicants are teachers, applicants also include administrators, office staff and guidance councilors. More than half of the applicants work in high schools.
Graduates of the Armed Teacher Training Program will have to pass the same test as law enforcement.
The Buckeye Firearm Foundation is a non-profit organization and is funded entirely by private and corporate donations.
The Foundation along with Tactical Defense Institute are currently developing the curriculum and guidelines for the program.
The first class is expected to be in the Spring of 2013.
To support this program, click the donate button.