An Ohio school district is considering a new proposal aimed at preventing school shootings which centers around providing teachers with access to firearms.
If the new proposal passes muster, parents and school board members at the Riverside Local School in Logan County will soon be weighing a program in which guns would be stored in strategic locations throughout the school for teachers to access during potential active shooter events.
“If people know you are protected and that can help us a little bit more, I’m all for it,” school Superintendent Scott Mann told the Dayton Daily News. “Just to reiterate — it’s going to be a community decision.”
The proposal comes after the school board nixed the idea of teachers being able to carry firearms on their persons inside the classroom.
“I do not want guns on teachers in the classroom,” admitted Mann. “I think that’s one of the worst safety plans you can have.”
The plan is similar to an idea implemented by schools in Sidney, Ohio, where they “placed 30 loaded hand guns strategically around its seven school buildings. Each weapon is locked in a box that can only be opened by a fingerprint,” according to the Dayton Daily News.
Sidney Superintendent John Scheu remarks that the program, now in its second year, has been received positively by the community, and notes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“If a shooting can take place in an Amish school in Pennsylvania, it can happen here in Sidney or any other place,” Scheu said.
Allowing teachers to pack heat has been a hit-or-miss issue across the country since the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, where armed students entered a Colorado school and killed 13 people, injuring more than 20.
Following the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting, Ohio was one of the first states to begin offering gun training for teachers.
Earlier this year, Infowars reported on a Utah sheriff who took it upon himself to hold concealed carry weapons training for educators.
“Really it’s not if, but when,” Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson said, referring to the incidence of school shooting events. Thompson maintains that “[i]t’s far better to have [educators] prepare and respond with some lethal force than to sit back and hope it never happens.”
Another option to deter potential shooters would be to outfit schools with additional armed guards, but critics of that move say it would further exacerbate the prison-like atmosphere already prevalent in most public schools.
“There are no easy answers,” says civil liberties advocate and Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead. “Clearly, if someone really wants to wreak havoc, they’ll find a way to obtain a weapon. Placing armed guards in every school in the country, as the NRA suggests, would merely heighten the culture of violence and contribute to a school environment that is already in lockdown mode. Indeed, as the Washington Post recognizes, there is evidence that the presence of armed guards in schools actually increases the chances of violent incidences occurring.”
While arming teachers may seem like an extreme step to some, most would agree the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is an armed good guy.