UPPER ARLINGTON, OH (WCMH) — Upper Arlington teachers will never be armed with guns. That’s what the Upper Arlington Schools Superintendent had to say at a school town hall meeting Monday night.
It was a packed house for the meeting about how to make schools safer after the Florida school shooting.
Superintendent Paul Imhoff said the district has ordered a full safety audit of every school in Upper Arlington. Up for consideration; armed school resource officers in every building and not allowing students to leave campus for lunch, among other things. One thing he said won’t happen is giving teachers guns.
“Arming teachers…arming teachers…I will say never, never,” he told the crowd who responded in boisterous applause.
Superintendent Imhoff said teachers with guns won’t keep kids safer. The Upper Arlington Police Chief agreed.
“It would take hours, years of training, to get teachers ready to carry in a school. There’s so many things that could go wrong,” said Police Chief Tracy Hahn.
That resonated with the audience, but some in the crowd said arming staff could help save lives.
“What we need is to be able to provide layers of security in the schools,” said Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck.
The Buckeye Firearms Association has provided training in armed response, crisis management, and emergency medical aid to 1,300 Ohio teachers and administrators since the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting.
“Today, we have a waiting list of over 2,000 teachers and staff from all over Ohio,” he said. “The demand is overrunning us at this point.”
Upper Arlington mom of three Cris Gulacy-Worrel said she worries about her kids at school, but tries to not let the fear consume her.
“It really breaks my heart that it’s come to this. It’s common and it shouldn’t be,” she said.
She doesn’t think more guns aren’t the solution.
“There is a huge problem and the only way we are going to fix it is by making a change in Washington. That’s the only way and you know that’s on both sides of the aisle,” said Gulacy-Worrel who is pushing for gun policy reform.
The district said many new safety measures are up for consideration including metal detectors, more cameras and locks on every door.