New calls for arming teachers and SROs in schools

In wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre

CINCINNATI - There were new calls Tuesday for school districts to consider allowing school resource officers (SRO), teachers and staff members to carry guns on school grounds.

The recommendations from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters came on the heels of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Adam Lanza took his own life when he heard police officers enter the building after he shot and killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults.

The question now is whether the crisis may have been averted if there was an armed staff member or SRO on site.

Deters believes that would be the quickest way to stop such tragedies, and said he doesn't oppose school personnel carrying concealed weapons

"I have no problem with them carrying on their person, none at all," Deters said. "If it's a trained officer, I have no problem with that at all."

Asked about teachers being armed in their classrooms, Deters replied, "If a teacher is trained to handle a weapon, I would have no objection to a teacher having a weapon."

DeWine said he would leave those decisions at the local level and not tell a school what to do. However, he added he favors lockboxes for guns in schools.

"If I was on the school board, I think that I would think about having someone in the school who is very well trained, who has a gun under lock and key and that no one could get access to but them," he said. "If a tragedy does occur, they can go get that gun."

He acknowledged critical seconds might be lost trying to disarm a shooter just to unlock the weapon, but said that system is the logical choice.

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