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Debate to Arm Ohio Teachers Continues with House Bill 8

DELAWARE (Tom Bosco/Kate Liebers) -- A proposed law could allow teachers to carry weapons without letting parents know.

The state has already given school boards the right to give a district employee the power to carry a concealed weapon. If House Bill 8 goes through the senate, however, school boards could do this without being obligated to tell the public about it.

Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft said he appreciates that lawmakers are laying out guidelines, but does not like the secrecy involved in the bill.

The district already employs armed staff at the school -- uniformed police officers known as resource officers.

Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said he would rather see law enforcement officers with the guns.

"Our officers are well trained, they are easily identified," Martin said. "I think most law enforcement agrees that that is the best alternative for arming someone inside a school building."

Craft seemed to agree.

"That's what they do," he said of the officers. "They are professional police officers and they go through so much training to be ready to respond to those kinds of situations."
 
The sheriff said he would worry that if the law passes, police might not be able to easily identify the criminal in an emergency.

"Obviously there's going to be a certain amount of chaos or 'fog of war.' I would advocate that if individual school systems go that route that they work closely with their local law enforcement," Martin said.

The senate is to debate the topic next week.
 
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