Ohio school district: Some employees to carry guns

Published 9:52 am Monday, July 8, 2013

NEWCOMERSTOWN (AP) — Some employees of an eastern Ohio school district will be allowed to carry guns on school property under a new policy going into effect in the fall.

The Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District board recently approved a policy authorizing certain employees designated by the board and superintendent to carry guns, The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia reports.

The district released few details of the plan allowing selected employees to carry guns in a designated school safety zone. Board President Jerry Lahmers says it would be counterproductive if the general public knew how many people were authorized to carry weapons or in which buildings they worked.

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Those carrying guns must get tactical training and be recertified by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Department annually. They also must have a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

“We want to keep our students safe,” Superintendent Jeff Staggs said.

A citizens group had asked that the board to allow guns in the district’s buildings and that school employees be trained and armed. The Parent Safety Committee contended there was a need to “get rid of gun-free zones” such as schools, where no one is armed to combat an attack by an outsider.

Lahmers said the new policy should help keep kids safe.

“I think it would be somewhat of a deterrent,” he said.