School district considering arming janitors

National

School district considering arming janitors

Posted:

Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A rural school district in Ohio is drawing attention with its plans to arm a handful of its non-teaching employees with handguns this year - perhaps even janitors.

Four employees in the Montpelier schools have agreed to take a weapons training course and carry their own guns inside the district's one building, which houses 1,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, school officials said.

"It's kind of a sign of the times," Superintendent Jamie Grime said Friday.

The Toledo Blade reported that the employees were janitors, but school officials would not confirm that to The Associated Press, saying only that they are employees who don't have direct supervision over the students in the northwest Ohio district.

The four employees who will carry guns all volunteered to take part, Grime said. The school plans to pay for them to attend a two-day training course.

"Putting a firearm in a school is a huge step," Grime said. "We're going to do it properly. These people need the proper training."

The move comes as districts and lawmakers across the nation weigh how to protect students following the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and after the National Rifle Association called for an armed officer in every U.S. school. The gunman in Newtown used a rifle to kill 20 students and six educators.

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri and South Dakota are looking into legislation that would allow teachers and other school employees to have guns.

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called Friday for state-funded, specialized firearms training for teachers and administrators. School districts would decide who would carry weapons but not be required to participate, and training would include how to react during a shooting.

In Arizona's Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has said he plans to post armed volunteers on school perimeters.

Residents in a Dayton, Ohio, suburb crowded into a school meeting this week to talk about whether staff members and teachers should be armed. Reaction was mixed, according to The Dayton Daily News.

"We need more good guys with guns. That's the sad reality of the situation," said Jim Rigano, a Springboro school board member.

Other states are trying clamp down on gun sales and bans on assault rifles.

In Montpelier, school officials began reviewing security plans after Newtown and decided teachers should not be armed because their first priority in an emergency should be locking doors and protecting students, Grime said. The school already has security cameras and locked doors, and requires visitors to be buzzed into the front entrance.

The proposal was not announced until just before the board voted unanimously Wednesday to arm a select group of employees after consulting with the local police chief and attorneys who reviewed Ohio's concealed carry law. The law prohibits guns in schools except in a few cases, and allows education boards to authorize someone to carry a gun inside schools.

No members of the public spoke out on the measure at the meeting, board President Larry Martin told the Blade. Grime said three people attended.

A letter was sent out to parents after the vote. Only three complained, while close to 150 called or sent emails supporting the idea in Montpelier, a remote city of about 4,000 residents along Interstate 80 near the convergence of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

"It's a place where people hold the Second Amendment close to their hearts," the superintendent said.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Topic of the Day

    Morning after pill moved to over-the-counter

    Morning after pill moved to over-the-counter

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline. Tuesday, the FDA loweredMore >>
    The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline.More >>
  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Gov. Brewer appoints Maricopa County judge

    Gov. Brewer appoints Maricopa County judge

    Gov. Jan Brewer has filled a judicial vacancy in Maricopa County Superior Court.More >>
    Gov. Jan Brewer has filled a judicial vacancy in Maricopa County Superior Court.More >>
  • Crime Watch

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
    Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>
  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • California

    Border patrol agents rescue 3 people and arrest gang member

    Border patrol agents rescue 3 people and arrest gang member

    YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT News 13) - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend. Agents arrested a dangerous gang member and then followed that up by rescuing three men lost in the desert. AlsoMore >>
    El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend.More >>