Columbiana schools seek public comment on arming teachers - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Columbiana schools seek public comment on arming teachers

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The debate over the arming of teachers is taking place across the country and here in the Valley.

A community meeting is scheduled Tuesday evening in Columbiana where they are considering the issue.

At Expert Outfitters, a gun store in North Lima, owner Ron Oldland said with the increase in shootings at schools, it's not surprising that districts are looking at arming teachers.

"I think as long as it's done correctly, it's up to the teachers if they feel confident and proficient with carrying a gun in the classroom. I think it's a good idea," said Oldland.

In the Sidney schools near Dayton, there's a gun in a lockbox, that only the superintendent can access. He also has a bulletproof vest so he can react in seconds. Oldland says with an active shooter every second counts.

"Due to response time, I mean that teacher is going to be the first defense for the kids in the class," Oldland added.

At a school safety summit in Austintown, the director of campus security talked about the risks and responsibilities involved in arming school personnel.

"Does the person carrying the firearm understand that the weapon they're carrying and the round that they're shooting, that they're responsible for every single round that they shoot. I don't want to shoot and over penetrate and end up shooting a child right behind them,"  said Lt. Tom Collins.

21 News spoke with several people in Columbiana and all but one said that with proper training they have no problem with teachers being armed.

Columbiana's police chief says the goal is to end the threat as quickly as possible, and authorities have learned from other shootings.

"With police arrival or when the assailant is confronted with armed resistance, they either suicide or they surrender. So if that happens sooner with personnel on site then maybe it's part of the solution," Chief Tim Gladis said. 

The sheriff in Butler County Ohio recently offered free firearms training to teachers who wanted to be armed and more than three hundred signed up. 


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