A school district in Ohio will allow principals and assistant principals who meet qualifications to carry loaded handguns in schools beginning this fall, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The Edgewood school board in Butler County, Ohio recently voted on the new security measure to be implemented on a voluntary basis for the district’s five schools. Those who choose to carry firearms will need to have a concealed carry license, and will need to complete training from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. Additionally, the school board will have to vote on each administrator separately after they complete these requirements.
There are 18 school administrators in the Edgewood district that could potentially be approved to carry guns, the Associated Press reported.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones expressed his support for the policy on Tuesday.
“I applaud Edgewood,” Jones told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “This is the only one in our region, but they won’t be the last.”
However, some parents in the district are not as thrilled as Jones is about the decision.
“It’s bringing tears to my eyes just thinking about it,” Debbie Curry, an Edgewood school parent, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m very saddened that our world has come to that,” she added.
Since school buildings are typically ‘gun-free zones,’ some believe shootings are actually more likely to occur because the criminal doesn’t have to fear retaliation. Last year’s shootings in Connecticut and Colorado both took place in ‘gun-free zones.’
A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Ohio is a “local control state,” which leaves decisions on this issue up to the local school boards. Even authorized Edgewood administrators will not be able to carry a weapon during events hosted by other school districts without receiving written permission from their school board.
Earlier this month, another Ohio school district, Newcomerstown in Tuscarawas County, approved a similar policy. Ohio is not alone in beginning to allow school administrators to carry guns. Legislation allowing school employees to arm themselves has been introduced in roughly two-dozen states across the country this year.