In what is said to be a first of any school system in Ohio, the Montpelier Exempted Village Schools Board of Education approved the carrying of handguns by its custodial staff.
On January 9, 2013 the board voted unanimously, 5-0, to allow handgun training for four custodians in order for them to carry weapons at the Williams County K-12 school after the shooting that took place in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The design of arming the custodians is to thwart incidents of violence and prevent tragedies like the one that occurred in Newtown, school official claim.
"Sitting back and doing nothing and hoping it doesn't happen to you is just not good policy anymore. There is a need for schools to beef up their security measures," Superintendent Jamie Grime said. "Having guns in the hands of the right people are not a hindrance. They are a means to protect."
School board President Larry Martin said, "Our main goal is to offer safety for our students while they are in the classrooms and in the building. We have to do something and this seems like the most logical, reasonable course to go with."
The Toledo Blade reported:
Before voting on the resolution, which was approved 5-0, village Police Chief Jeffrey Lehman met with the board and superintendent in executive session to provide advice, suggestions, and his professional opinion, said Mr. Martin, a school board member for 20 years.
School officials also reviewed the resolution with the district's Cincinnati-based law firm, Ennis, Roberts, and Fischer, LPA, to determine whether gun possession by janitors in the classroom is legal under the state's concealed-carry license law.
Mr. Grime said their legal counsel advised that Ohio's gun law allows for school boards to authorize employees to possess weapons on school grounds if they pass the requirements of the concealed-carry law.
The custodians will be trained by instructors with the Tactical Defense Institute of West Union, Ohio beginning in mid March. They will go through a two-day training class and the school district will pick up the tab.
While I think the custodians could take care of their own class and save taxpayer money and I would like to see the rights of teachers and principals go uninfringed, this is a great step forward. I'm sure the school is making a very wise decision and since the word will most definitely be out, I'm betting that mass shootings won't be taking place at Montpelier.
For those that 'poo poo' such things as arming school officials, like Jason Linkins from the Huffington Post, I suggest reading Rusty Ray's excellent commentary, including interviews he conducted with school board members.
Listen below to the interview: