Barnesville Board of Education passed a resolution allowing staff members with specialized and specific training to be able to conceal weapons on school property.
“We have a safety committee that is made up of staff members throughout the district and that was a topic of discussion that we had in several of our safety committee meetings, and we discussed the pros and cons,” said Angela Hannahs, Superintendent for Barnesville School District. “And the consensus of the committee was they would like to pursue that. So, that was the information I took to the board of education and that led them to pass a resolution to allow staff to conceal carry.”
Selected staff members had to complete several extensive training programs before being allowed to carry a firearm on school grounds. That included courses from the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, as well as additional training from local law enforcement.
“Well, first off, they have to have their conceal and carry permit,” said Superintendent Hannahs. “And keeping up with the training they receive from conceal and carry, working with local law enforcement. Keeping those lines of communication open. What they expect us to do and what not to do as well.”
Superintendent Hannahs say that so far parents and residents have been supportive of the new measures. The community today seemed to be in favor as well.
“I think it’s a great idea because of everything that’s going on these days,” said Niccole, a resident of Barnesville. “It makes them safer, I think.”
As long as they are properly trained,” said Donald McCloud, a resident of Morristown. “In today’s world, it’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it’s getting to be right now.”
“If we were to be in a situation where we would have to react and there were no law enforcement here,” said Superintendent Hannahs. “We just want to be sure we are able to do that.”
Other safety measures include over 40 video surveillance cameras in each of the school buildings. The schools are on lockdown at all times. And there are two full-time resource officers on duty throughout the school day.
Superintendent Hannahs says that students and faculty members participate is several safety drills throughout the year as well.