NEWARK, OH (WCMH) – In the wake of the Florida high school shooting, a local gun shop is offering free firearms training to local teachers.
Two years ago, Gun Depot co-owner and former Marine Craig Moore offered free firearms training to teachers in his school district. After the tragedy in Florida, he offered that same free training again to all schools in the area.
But, districts in the county said they’re not ready to take that step, including Northridge Local Schools.
“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our students safe and that’s looking at things from all angles,” said Northridge Local Schools superintendent Scott Schmidt.
He said staff are not allowed to be armed, but they’re doing everything they can to keep students safe.
“I think it’s important to be connected to the community and appreciate resources and working together,” said Schmidt. “We also want to make sure we balance our student safety initiatives and make sure that we’re not inadvertently putting students in harm’s way by introducing more weapons into the schools.”
He said right now they’re encouraging students and community members to speak up if they hear or see something suspicious or potentially harmful. Schmidt said they also have a special duty deputy on campus every day.
But, Moore said arming teachers and staff is necessary to protect students and he’s willing to train any educator in the area for free. He said so far, no school districts in Licking County have taken him up on the offer.
“We did the offer because the estimated arrival time for the sheriff, which is fantastic, is 7-12 minutes. At that time, it’s too late,” said Moore. “So, in that period people are going to die and it’s all because we’re afraid to trust the teachers who are throwing their lives in front of the gun.”
Moore said he understands not all teachers will want to carry and he believes they shouldn’t if they’re not comfortable.
“It’s not a pleasant idea thinking of arming teachers but we arm security in banks, airports, courtrooms,” he said. “Our kids are invaluable, so if it takes doing that then we have to do it.”
Moore said he’ll continue to offer the training to school districts. He’s currently offering half off CCW training to any teachers in the area, who would like to get formal training on their own.