SPRINGBORO, Ohio - The Springboro Community City School Board decided Thursday night to take the next step toward allowing faculty and staff to carry guns at school.
The board will have its policy committee take a harder look at creating rules under which firearms could be carried, including what level and kind of training would be required for staff to carry firearms to class.
"If a would-be shooter knows that they aren't likely to succeed, and that there is a high probability that they will encounter someone with a weapon inside the school, I think that's a real deterrent," said Jim Rigano, a board member with the school system. Rigano said he wants to start a dialogue about the possibility of guns in schools, even if it means the board decides not to approve the idea.
The board lightly debated the issue in front of packed crowd of several hundred concerned parents and citizens who turned out to voice their opinions and listen to the board discuss the controversial proposal.
No decision was made other than a consensus to discuss the proposal further, and to possibly write a policy at some point in the future.
Ohio law allows local school boards to decide on whether to allow guns in their schools.
James Ethridge has several grandchildren in the school system. Despite the fact that he is a hunter and a member of the National Rifle Association, he's against allowing staff to carry weapons.
"If they miss their target, and a small child happens to be trying to get away from the situation and they get hit, that teacher will never be able to live it down," Ethridge said.
Carrie Underwood is a proponent of teachers packing weapons, but with a caveat. She wants teachers who carry guns to undergo intense training to avoid the friendly fire possibility.
"There has to be close-quarters combat training if we're going to put staff members in the schools with firearms," Underwood said.
Other parents said they felt their kids were safe in school, even lauding the school system's overall safety. But still wanted to have a frank discussion about allowing weapons.
"Carrying teachers, with additional training through concealed carry would give a better peace of mind for the school and the parents," said Jeff Brommel, a parent.