WEST LIBERTY, Ohio — Arming teachers has been a hot-button topic for years. Wednesday, Ohio's Supreme Court decided that a teacher can be armed, but there's a catch. Teachers need either police training or 20 years of law enforcement experience.
But West Liberty-Salem School District, which dealt with a school shooting in 2017, said they don't allow armed faculty in the district.
A 17-year-old opened fire inside West Liberty-Salem High School on January 20, 2017, injuring two students. After the shooting, the school superintendent said the district went back and forth about whether teachers should be armed.
“We decided that we felt better basically hiring a school resource officer who is commissioned through our local sheriff’s department, whose jurisdiction that we reside in to be on-site instead of arming our staff,” Superintendent Kraig Hissong said.
Currently, the district has one school resource officer who works for the Champaign County Sheriff’s Department. Hissong said that if something were to happen again, he'd want teachers to focus on the students.
“We want our staff to be more able to help kids you know lock down or escape or think more about how to prevent life being lost than trying to go out and pursue someone who had a gun,” Hissong said.
A teenager pleaded guilty to the 2017 shooting and received a max sentence of 23.5 years in prison for attempted murder, felonious assault and inducing pain.