Another Columbiana County school considers arming staff - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Another Columbiana County school considers arming staff

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A second Columbiana County school is looking into the possibility of arming school staff. 

Columbiana Exempted Village School Superintendent Don Mook tells 21 News that their school system is in the very preliminary stages of looking into the possibility. 

Mook said the issue was brought up at the latest Board of Education meeting, but nothing formal had been discussed or brought. 

According to Mook, the several other school districts have been tossing around the idea. 

One of those districts, Southern Local, in Salineville, approved a measure Tuesday night to grant the Board of Education the authority to authorize specific persons to convey or possess handguns in school safety zones owned or operated by the board, including buildings, premises, activities and buses owned, leased and/or operated by the board. 

A second measure names the district's designated employees, however, that information is a safety record and remains confidential. 

Leaders consulted with law enforcement officials prior to accepting the policies and consider this a means to augment security on campus.

One of the main differences between Columbiana Schools and Southern Local, according to Mook, is response time. 

"We've got about a 3 minute response time here as long as there's not a train," said Mook. 

Meanwhile, Mook explained that Southern Local, which depends on the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office, could potentially have a longer estimated response time because it's more rural, and sheriff's deputies cover much more ground. 

"We have a safe school district," said Mook. "But that doesn't preclude us from getting a lunatic to come in here, you know?" 

Superintendent Mook said it's a discussion that he expects the Board of Education to talk about again but after plenty of research. 

Before anything is decided the superintendent says he expects they'll have several committee meetings, discussions with the police and other first responder agencies, and hold meetings in which parents and community members can give their opinions and learn more about the plan. 

Since 2014, the Ohio Revised Code has required boards of education and their administrators to adopt plans which contain protocols for addressing serious threats to the safety of students, employees or administrators and responding to any emergency events that occur and compromise the safety of property, students, employees or administrators.

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