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Discussions about re-arming staff continue in five local school districts

| October 20, 2022

TUSCARAWAS COUNTY (WJER) (Oct. 20, 2022) – Leaders in the local school districts that had armed staff members prior to the Ohio Supreme Court requiring them to undergo police-level training are considering reimplementing the practice.

The Indian Valley Board of Education discussed the possibility of re-arming school staff Monday and will likely be voting on a formal resolution in November. The Claymont school board tabled a similar measure Tuesday evening after Cyndy Host and other members requested more information.

“If we pass a resolution, there has a policy. I haven’t even seen the policy on it to know what we’re requiring,” she said. “I know what the Ohio Revised Code says but I don’t know what we say because I haven’t seen it.”

That was after Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell spent more than 30 minutes explaining how having armed staff members in the buildings could end a shooting in the time it takes law enforcement to get there. 

“In Ohio, nationally and in the world, it seems like there are only a few things that are making a difference. I will not say that if Claymont has a school shooting this is going to guarantee it to work, but I’m just going to tell that you’re gonna have a better chance.”

The Ohio legislature last summer passed a bill allowing school staff to carry after 24 hours of training that Gov. Mike Dewine proceeded to sign into law. However, Campbell says districts can’t take advantage of the change until the state develops a new training program.

“When you pass this legislation, truthfully, nothing is gonna happen right away because we’re waiting on them. This is just going to allow you to be ready when it happens down the road. And it will happen. They took the former director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council, moved her over to this division, put her in charge of this, and said to hire trainers and write lesson plans.”

There have also been talks of rearming staff at Newcomerstown, Tusky Valley, and Garaway, but officials there haven’t yet passed resolutions recommitting to the practice.

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