Ohio School Board Unanimously Approves Arming School Staff


Teachers and staffers in one Ohio school district may soon be armed for students’ protection after a 5-0 vote by a local school board Tuesday evening.

WKBN-TV reports that the Indian Creek school board has been examining the issue for quite a while, and finally decided to move forward with the plan after months of debate.

According to Board of Education President Dr. Ted Starkey, concealed weapons has been a major topic within the school district for the last six years…

Dr. Starkey says improved response time is the reasoning behind Ohio allowing schools to arm teachers.

The school district in far eastern Ohio isn’t the first in the state to approve training and arming volunteers among the school district’s employees. In fact, according to WTOV-TV, Indian Creek isn’t even the first in the county to adopt the policy.

This initiative is becoming more and more common as the number of school shootings grow.

Locally, Edison Local and Newcomerstown have already adopted a similar measure.

“The randomness of violence; that means that it could happen here, it could happen anywhere,” said Board of Education President Dr. Ted Starkey.

Dr. Starkey’s right. We don’t know where the next attempted school shooting will take place, but we do know that the typical targeted attack at a school is over in less than a minute.

In addition to the unanimous support by the school board, the measure clearly has the backing of local law enforcement and educators as well.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla and Wintersville Police Chief Art Fowler were also present at the meeting. Chief Fowler says this topic is personal for him since he has a son at the middle school.

“The safety of our students and staff is priority, and we will do whatever it takes to help keep them safe,” said Chief Fowler. “Nobody wants to talk about it happening, but a lot of the places that it has happened, I’m sure they thought, ‘It isn’t going to happen here.’”

“Just by having a sign at the school that says ‘some staff are armed’ makes it feel safer than having a sign on the door that says a ‘no gun zone’,” said high school teacher Jennifer Belt.

This very serious decision will take intensive training to ensure all weapons are in the proper hands. The school is considering using the program ‘Faster Saves Lives.’

I think the FASTER program would be an excellent resource for the Indian Creek school district. Administered by the Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio, the training program has educated thousands of teachers and school staff on safe and responsible firearms training, active shooter response, de-escalation techniques, first aid, and more.

Arming school staff may still be controversial in some quarters, but it’s also clearly gaining support around the country one school district at a time. I’m glad to see the school board in the Indian Creek school district take this step, and hopefully they’ll soon be joined by even more schools across the state.