UPDATED: Ohio Expands School Safety Training For Educators

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Updated: 12/20/12

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine addresses school safety. He explains teachers are becoming first responders during school shootings.

DeWine lays down basics for Ohio schools including sending teachers to a training academy, but local educators and law enforcement are left with lots of questions.

Considering new ways to increase the odds of students surviving a school threat and now option is being overlooked.

"Every community is different, every building is different and so you have to devise a plan for every campus that you have," explains Belpre Schools Superintendent, Tony Dunn.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says nothing short of barricading every school will stop another threat. He says one option is to train teachers to respond even if that means... arming them.

Belpre schools superintendent isn't on board. "I'm not for arming principals and teachers during the school day. I am interested in having school resource officers that are available to the school."

Attorney General DeWine says teachers quickly become the first responders in these situations.

"Educators are trained for years to be educators and in one quick second it's going to be hard to convert them into a law enforcement first responder," says Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks. "I would be cautious to placing weapons in the hands of someone who has not had an awful lot of training."

Attorney General DeWine plans to send teachers to the State Police Training Academy to help them prepare for a shooter, but local schools and law enforcement say they don't know what that'll include.

"But I do think that something certainly needs to be done and I think starting a dialogue is a good spot to do that and maybe that's whats going to happen," continues Mincks.

"It has caused some conversations between the Police Department and us and we will expedite that," says Dunn.

DeWine says the decision to allow guns is ultimately left up to each school District but encourages everyone to consider it.

"I think we need to avoid a one size fits all and have the local people decide what kind of plan they want," says Mincks.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state is expanding safety training for Ohio educators to reflect the reality that those inside a school are the first to face danger.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said Wednesday that nothing short of barricading every school in the country can stop something from happening, but officials have a moral obligation to take steps that will increase the odds of children surviving.

DeWine says the state police training academy will train educators across the state in how to deal with an active shooter.

DeWine says he would support allowing a trained school official access to a gun during the school day but such decisions should be up to each district.

Wednesday's announcement follows last week's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school and last February's school shooting in Chardon.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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