TRENTON, Ohio -- Rick Moore, an instructional aide and coach at Edgewood Middle School, has a child in every level of Edgewood City Schools: A son in elementary, a daughter in middle school and another daughter in high school.
Those family ties give him a special connection to every school in the district, he said Monday, and a desire to protect every student the same way he would protect his own children.
"I'm not here to just help them with their math or English," he said. "If it means I can protect them or help them, I would be willing to do that for sure."
That's why he became one of nearly 100 teachers and staff members from area school districts to take part in a Butler County class teaching best practices for carrying a concealed weapon.
According to Moore, he saw faculty and staff from Hamilton, West Chester Township and Ross Township, among others, at the free Monday night class organized by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. In a tweet , Jones said around 50 more educators were signed up for a future class.
School districts and politicians around the country, included the president of the United States , have struggled to identify effective solutions for protecting students since the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students, staff and faculty died in the attack; 14 were injured.
Among the many proposals -- make it more difficult for young people and those with certain records to buy guns ; put metal detectors at school entrances; hire armed security -- is the one for which longtime gun ownership proponent Jones has publicly advocated : Arm teachers.
Surrounding school districts haven't acted on his advice, and they might never do so. Moore said Monday night he would simply like to see a plan that would transform Edgewood schools from "soft targets" -- those considered vulnerable -- to "hard targets" for potential attackers.
"It's a way different world than I grew up in," he said. "You have to do what you need to do to protect those you love, and those you care about."