SUGARCREEK (WJER) (June 20, 2022) – Garaway’s superintendent says the board of education will consider reinstating a past policy allowing teachers to arm themselves following legislative action by the state government earlier this month.
Superintendent James Millet says the policy, adopted in 2019, has been on hold after the Ohio Supreme Court last year ruled teachers must undergo peace officer training in order to carry a firearm in school. That could have meant hundreds of hours of training.
Governor Mike DeWine this month signed house bill 99 which reduces that to 24 hours of training.
Millet says training for Garaway employees would exceed that.
“We used, much like most if not all other schools in Tuscarawas County, the FASTER Saves Lives Training, which is pretty comprehensive,” Millet said. “It’s a lot more comprehensive than what the new law is requiring, and if we were to move forward, that would be my recommendation: that we use the FASTER training.”
Millet says school officials were pleased to see House Bill 99 pass, as they still believe arming staff members can provide a quick response to protect students and staff.
“We did also, during that time, have a safety officer that’s employed at the school, and we have a unique safety dog that works with that officer and is trained to respond to gunfire,” Millet said. “That has been in place throughout this whole time.”
The Garaway board of education meets Monday at 6 p.m. at the high school library. Millet says they will begin discussions about increasing safety measures in the district. Millet says a decision on arming teachers could come later this summer.