Ohio school plans to arm its janitors

TOLEDO, Ohio — 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.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Front Porch

EVENTS Construction to start on housing project A groundbreaking is scheduled for… Continue reading

FILE - This Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo, former Washington Gov. John Spellman, second from left, leaves a memorial service in Renton, Wash. Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington, has died at age 91. Spellman’s son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed his death Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
John Spellman was last GOP governor of Washingon

He had spent recent weeks “being very disappointed with the Cougs and the Huskies,” his son said.

Most Read