Columbiana Schools consider concealed weapons for staff - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Columbiana Schools consider concealed weapons for staff

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More than 40 parents in Columbiana signed up to speak during a public forum Tuesday night that discussed the potential of teachers and staff carrying concealed weapons.

At this point, the school board is only gathering information. The superintendent said concealed weapons is just one option school leaders are considering to increase school safety.

"At this point in time, before the board would even consider any kind of action, they want to really uncover what the public thinks," said Superintendent Donald Mook.

Parents who spoke at the meeting were on both sides of the debate.

"I'm not convinced that arming teachers and staff will contribute to their safety in the event of a school shooter," said one parent.

Another parent said, "I can not understand how more guns in any situation causes less shooting."

One said, "We already ask a huge amount of our educators to invest in our children socially, emotionally, intellectually, now we're considering adding the psychological burden of security."

Those in favor of staff carrying concealed weapons said, "Sure there is a risk, but forcing them to be defenseless does nothing to provide more security. The greatest risk may be continuing to leave them defenseless by doing nothing at all."

Some felt armed staff would also serve as a deterrent to anyone wanting to cause harm.

"Because people don't go where they're going to get shot back at," said one man.

The superintendent said the district is working closely with the Columbiana County Police Department.

Chief Tim Gladis said, "We would not oppose arming teachers. We would not do anything but support whatever decision it is they make and we can bring a lot of things to the table to help them whichever way they go."

The superintendent said the district is also considering having school resource officers in the buildings.

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