‘Our Schools Will No Longer Be Soft Targets’: Ohio School District Reportedly Allowing Teachers To Arm Themselves

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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An Ohio school district implemented a new policy permitting teachers and staff to arm themselves, according to a local report.

The River Valley Local School District approved staffers to carry on campus to prevent schools from being “soft-targets,” according to the Marion Star.

“Our schools will no longer be soft targets and unprotected,” Superintendent Adam Wickham said, according to the Marion Star. “Most active-shooter events occur in areas of ‘gun-free zones’ or with minimal safety measures in place. We want to ensure our schools will not be soft targets.”

“As a rural community, response times can often be minutes away in the event of an active shooter,” the statement reportedly continued. “The use of armed staff in our building can potentially save lives by providing a more immediate response to the threat. Recent school shootings such as in Nashville, Uvalde and Parkland clearly show that the quicker the response time, the more likely you are to potentially save lives.” (RELATED: Male Teen Who Identifies As ‘Lilly’ Arrested For Threatening To Shoot Up School After Police Find Manifesto: Affidavit)

Wickham said the district’s two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school will have an armed staff member along with a resource officer from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on site.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law in June that permitted school districts in the state to authorize teachers and staff to carry in the classrooms once they have received 24 hours of training. Wickham said the district would require more training than the state minimum, according to  the report.

The school board had previously given the district the green light for armed staff during the 2020-2021 school year but the law was suspended pending the state’s Supreme Court ruling. The state then released training guidance in December. Wickham reportedly said he reintroduced the use of armed staff to the board during a January meeting.