At least three employees of Medina County schools have applied for gun training and crisis management classes sponsored by an Ohio-based gun advocacy group.
Buckeye Firearms Association, headquartered in Delaware, announced Dec. 20 that it would pay for 24 teachers, administrators, bus drivers and other school employees to participate in a three-day Armed Teacher Training Program during March or April in West Union.
The classes are offered in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month that left 20 children and six staff members dead.
Association Chairman Jim Irvine said the organization has received more than 900 applications so far from school-related personnel in Ohio and several other states as far away as Florida.
Irvine declined to identify any of the applicants. But a map on the group’s website features pins that “represent a ZIP code with one or more applicants.” Three of the pins are in Medina County.
Irvine said he wasn’t surprised the program has had a positive response.
“We have had a failure of security and safety in this county,” Irvine said. “It shouldn’t have taken Sandy Hook to wake people up.”
Irvine said the classes would train school personnel, but most school districts won’t allow them to carry firearms on school property.
In Medina County, police increased their presence at many schools the week after the shooting.
A group of Wadsworth parents asked City Council to make the increase permanent. No decision has yet been made.
Irvine said that the training is valuable even if school employees aren’t allowed to carry firearms inside schools because the training includes advanced first aid.
“Marksmanship is a useful skill, but it may not be what’s needed right away,” he said. “The class goes beyond first aid, and you don’t need to be a doctor to use some of these techniques.”
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.