UK & World News

  • 12 January 2013, 1:04

Ohio School Janitors To Carry Handguns

A rural Ohio school district will arm its janitors with handguns to protect students in the wake of last month's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The school board has voted unanimously to have the four custodians at the district's nursery and main schoolbegin carrying handguns, the Toledo Blade reports.

In a message to parents on the district's website, Superintendent Jamison Grime said the school board decided to arm staff in order to "substantially enhance and strengthen our security efforts."

The janitors - all men - will buy their own guns. Teachers and others with direct supervision of students will not be armed.

School board president Larry Martin said the district began looking into arming employees six months ago.

Amid concerns that the decision was made without parental input, Mr Grime said staff will not begin carrying guns until they complete a two-day course in March.

The Buckeye Firearms Association said more than 1,000 educators across Ohio have applied for its armed teacher training programme, but it is unclear whether any other school districts have approved similar programmes.

Meanwhile, in Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhursthas called for state-funded, specialised firearms training for teachers and administrators to prevent school shootings.

Mr Dewhurst said that under his optional plan school districts could nominate who they want to carry weapons on campus.

The training would include how to react, both technically and emotionally, in an active shooter situation.

And in Utah, a gun rights group held a course last month to teach 200 local teachers how to handle concealed weapons.

The debate over gun control in the US has been re-ignited in the wake of the Newtown school shooting, where a man killed 20 young children and six staff members with an assault rifle in Connecticut last month.

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