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Armed Teacher Training Program In Ohio

Updated on March 29, 2013

Concealed Carry For Teachers

Ohio became one of the first 15 US States to opt into the Armed Teacher Training Program after the gun-related massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School dismayed the USA again with unwanted mayhem and murder.

Ohio is one of the first 15 states interested in the training, because an Ohio company originated the program. That is the Tactical Defense Institute, which is promoted by the Buckeye Firearms Association (see links below).

Will the ability to carry firearms in the classrooms Pre-K through 12 help to prevent school shootings perpetrated by outsiders or students in the future? What I do know is that some efficient action is required, because I cannot forget a playground incident in Columbus, Ohio that occurred a few months ago.

In that event, two eight-year-old boys were arguing while one pointed a loaded handgun at the other in the front play area of their elementary school before classes began for the day. The play area was connected to the narrow parking lot and located very near a high-trafficked street. Other boys and girls of various ages through 5th grade were standing around watching. Police officers arrived on the scene to intervene before a shot was fired, but the incident would have resulted in several injuries and deaths.

This brings up the question of what a teacher that is trained in firearms use and issued a concealed carry permit, then permitted to carry a firearm into the school on a daily basis, would do in the playground situation described above. Would any such teacher become anxious and shoot, inadvertently ending the life of an elementary school child? Would any teacher run a greater risk of shooting a student in a similar or worse situation if the student were older: middle- or high-school aged? In cases like Columbine in which students enter shooting, are teachers trained to shoot these youth in the leg to stop them, rather than to shoot to the head or chest and kill? Further, how does teacher possession and use of guns in school reconcile with the rules that teachers are not permitted to touch students, much less use physical force in their contact?


Some Teachers Want Guns

I understand the desire of some teachers' reaction to Sandy Hook resulting in wanting to own and carry a handgun in school. I understand this, because I was a gunshot target at one place of employment.

Drive by shootings were becoming more frequent on the street adjacent to the company building in which I worked serving students and families. One day, I was sitting at the reception desk to fill in for a staff person, when someone opened the front door and fired a starter pistol into the lobby. It was as loud as a handgun and left discharge debris, and I had ducked under the large reception station base as quickly as possible. While the bullet was not live ammunition, the location of the building was in a high crime area, involving firearms. The company had had a security guard, but eliminated that position to save costs. What was more upsetting than the attack was the "so-what" attitude of the company leadership - no safety measures were added.

In the school systems of our nation, however, the attitude in anything but, "So what?" Some teachers and administrators want guns of their own.

Some Ohio school districts already allow concealed carry in the classroom by some trained teachers. Some other districts will not allow any teachers to bring guns to school.

Caring for a handgun while teaching a roomful of second graders or high school seniors will not be an easy task. Does the teacher wear a shoulder holster throughout the day? Some teacher somewhere will become tired of this, or for some other reason take off the holster for "just a minute" - but that's all the time needed to begin a tragedy around children.


Armed Teacher Training Program

Only 100 years or a few more ago, our city's large, upscale northwestern suburb was a Wild West town, complete with saloons, cowboys, shootouts, and various fights. Guns were not checked at the sheriff's office or at the door of the saloons. They were used.

Today, Dublin OH is as far from a gunslinger's town as one can get, but Ohio is training teachers to carry firearms and to shoot attackers in the schools. The first class of teachers did well in training, which was paid by donations, rather than by taxpayer dollars. Still, many people ask why the training in necessary -- Outsider and student violence is far out of hand, it if requires gun protection in the classroom.*

Tactical Defense Institute:
2174 Bethany Ridge Road, West Union, OH 45693, USA

get directions

From the Buckeye Firearms Association Website Q and A

'Q: Can you legally have a gun in school?
A: In general, schools in Ohio are "gun-free" zones by law. However, the Ohio Revised Code, specifically 2923.122, allows a board of education to authorize employees who are otherwise allowed to own and carry firearms to carry those firearms in their schools...

Q: Can you guarantee that armed teachers will stop a mass murder?
A: No. Even a full SWAT team can't guarantee absolute safety in any given school. What we can guarantee is that if a school has no one on-site who can respond to an active killer threat, people are going to die until someone can respond. Dozens of people can be killed in just 5 or 10 minutes. So fast response is essential.'

One Alternative

Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine’s office offers a four-hour “Active Shooter” class. This training is provided by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. Teachers and administrators attending the training learn what to do, if a shooter enters their schools.

The Active Shooter training in this program comcentrates heavily on how to keep a shooter from finding and accessing students. This might mean running, jumping out windows, blocking doors with desks, and other evasive action. However, It does not include arming teachers with handguns, training them to shoot, and equipping them with concealed carry permits.

See Ohio Attorney General's Office


Additional Ammunition For Decision Making

In the late 1990s, I volunteered with an agency located three doors down from an empty storefront building for several years. One day, a gunstore moved into the empty space. It had little security in place - no bars on the large front window where guns were displayed, a lack of dead bolt locks, an absence of an alarm system, and some other problems.

In just a few months, the gunstore owner locked himself inside his business one afternoon, called the local police department and reported that he was holding himself hostage with many loaded firearms. Police officers arrived and were able to talk the man out of the store pretty quickly. Television newscasts that night explained that the gunstore owner was a patient with a Severe Mental Disorder (SMD) and a felony record, and therefore was not legally permitted to own a firearm.

How was he able to purchase rifles, handguns, and semiautomatic weapons without a background check? Perhaps he was able to do this through attending gun shows and purchasing from private individuals (the "gun show loop hole").

This was another situation that could have resulted in many injuries and deaths. Are there ways in which we can prevent these occurrences without carrying firearms ourselves?

Gun carrying or not seems almost a quality of cultural differences. The Metropolitan Police of London do not carry firearms, but American school teachers do.



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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from sunny Florida

      As a retired teacher I have read of this program being implemented and I do have concerns. I know that something needs to happen to deter those who would appear on a school ground and begin shooting. I am just not sure this is the best answer. NO, I have not come up with a better one.

      My questions are many but a few are:

      How do we know that every teacher who is trained and allowed to carry a gun into the classroom is emotionally competent enough to react appropriately at all times? Teachers too may have unusual pressures that cause them to snap...just a thought.

      Where will the gun be kept on a day to day basis?

      I imagine that some kind of chain of command will be in place for those teachers so they know when they should actually use the gun.

      As I stated, I believe something must be done to deter the random shootings that have occurred. And I pray that this is effective and that it works well.

      The Active Shooter plan sounds like it may hold promise.

      Sending Angels to you this evening.

      Voted up++++ ps

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      It,seems this phenomena of school shootings is recent but I remember it happening in my high school in the late 1960's but ,it was just someone shooting at the school from outside. The only other really outstanding shooting I can recall back then was the shooting of college students and American Indian protestors in a western state from a hippie movement where the government called out the national guard and they shot at and killed these kids for trying to take over the college for a period of time.As,far as I can remember the protestors didn't have any guns.I think it was a woodstock type group against war.

    • Valerie F profile image

      Valerie F 

      6 years ago from Idaho Falls, ID

      In some parts of the US, some people believe it is necessary to arm all emergency responders rather than just police. EMT's and firefighters often have to respond to a crime scene that might still be active, and if police are not present or if there's any complacence regarding scene security, more deaths can be the result.

      Personally, I do not like the idea of drawing a firearm while I'm trying to treat a patient in the field, but I like the idea of getting shot in the line of duty or someone deliberately killing my patient even less. Similarly, arming teachers is by no means a perfect solution, and I could see problems beside what's listed in this hub with that. But if communities are unwilling to pay for better police protection, school resource officers, and such, allowing teachers and administrators who are qualified to carry do so will mean school principals will have more at their disposal to stop school shootings than just throwing themselves at a shooter. Perhaps we'll give teachers means of protecting students that doesn't involve trusting a murderous criminal to not look where the kids are hidden.

      A lot of teachers are already trained in first aid and certified in CPR because, much as I would wish otherwise, emergency responders cannot just instantly teleport to a scene. Because, similarly, the police are minutes away even when seconds count, schools probably should take greater responsibility for protecting themselves and their students.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      @someonewhoknows - Vacation! Yes, abandon ship! Cool poem!

      @KKG - I know how to shoot, but can't make myself go get a gun. Must be better ways to protect ourselves. We'll see.

      @wetnosedogs - Sad and incredible at once. It makes me sit and wonder about life.

      @Eric - Kindergarten is becoming a "Die Hard" movie!

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      I can see the headlines now -

      "Teacher tells children a poem about guns "


      There once was a teacher or was that a preacher who taught the people how to shoot someone with a gun.

      It,wasn't very long before a policeman came along and told them both that it was wrong for them to do what only professionals do when everything is said and done.

      The Mayor of the city where crime wasn't pretty soon entered into the conversation.

      With all this talk about guns and crime maybe I should go on vacation.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, I hate to see it come to this but I can see their point. Everyday we seem to hear about someone bing hurt or killed in school. How sad it is that we have come to this.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Sad, sad. It has come to this debate.

      Great write up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The side arm was once called the "great equalizer". It was also referred to as the "peacemaker".

      Our armaments are important to us, we would rather die in a hail of gunfire than lose of freedom to tyranny.

      I am a wordsmith, and I am qualified and licensed with weapons, I do not own one.

      But the point is that a coward will not walk into an armed enemy. Our incidents here, have been caused by deranged cowards. Our government cannot control or circumvent these folks. Perhaps I want sweet Ms J. kindergarten teacher to be strapping and trained.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Rik Ravado - Yes, it sounds ludicrous to need to arm teachers. I'm almost wary of driving by a school for fear of a tray bullet.

    • Rik Ravado profile image

      Rik Ravado 

      6 years ago from England

      Very interesting Hub. To those of us who live in Europe this is very difficult to understand. Armed security guards perhaps but teachers carrying guns seems almost obscene. Why not arm nurses and doctors? What about Priests? Where do you draw the line?


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