It has been a plan in the works for months, but in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, CT, on Wednesday night the Montpelier Exempted Village School district voted to allow individuals in the school, to carry concealed weapons.
According to a summary of Jan. 9's board meeting on the school's website, the board "Approved a resolution authorizing certain individuals to carry concealed firearms on school premises pursuant to O.R.C. § 2923.122."
Even though current security measures are in place, Montpelier school leaders decided to allow staff members to receive a concealed carry permit and bring firearms into Montpelier schools.
"Although we felt we were doing a good job with keeping the doors locked and making the visitors sign in and all that, we just felt as though it was time to take another step," explained Superintendent Jamie Grime.
Up to four individuals will have a gun on school grounds at any given time. However, none of them will be teachers. Over the next few weeks, the school board will select those individuals, and it will be at their own discretion if they want to take advantage of the new policy.
The school will also be offering training through the Tactical Defense Institute this spring.
"It will definitely not be just hand the gun to somebody and say "here, now walk around the school." There will be a lot of training that goes into this," assured Grime.
School officials say decisions like this will be made at other school districts across the country.
"I don't think it was a matter of if anybody was gonna do this. It's just a matter of when," said Grime.
Local residents had mixed reactions to the decision.
"It's kind of scary just to think about having guns in a school full of children," said Megan Kreisher.
"The people that want to do it, I think it's fine. Because those people will take the time to do it and do it right," said Ric Echler.
The superintendent says the decision was a must to ensure everyone's safety.
"At the end of the day, it's my authority and their authority, to make sure everybody comes to school in a safe environment. And we're willing to take whatever measures are necessary to make that happen," said Grime.
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