DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Mad River Local School District says they are saddened by the loss of more defenseless children.
The district also says that they are sure that they’re making the right decisions for their students and staff and that’s by allowing trained teachers to have firearms in the case of a school shooting.
The school is one of the few districts in the area that allow for trained members of the staff to operate firearms in the case of a school shooting.
In 2017, the Mad River school district implemented a program to allow teachers and staff to go through extensive training to defend students with firearms. The school superintendent says that while it may not be typical in schools, he says it works for them.
“It’s something that’s accepted within our community and it works for us. as an additional layer to school safety, but I realize that may not be something that’s accepted in every community,” Mad River Local Superintendent Chad Wyen said.
Parents in Riverside say they stand behind the district’s decision, and with the increasing numbers of school shootings nationally, they say the decision should be done in more schools.
A parent at Stebbins High School, Charles Depoyster, says that it means the most to him because his daughter feels safe going to school each day.
“I can’t help but feel the way my kid feels about it, and I know that she feels safer knowing that the teachers have to protect her because it’s actually something that is affecting these kids, these days” Charles Depoyster, Mad River Local School District parent tells 2 NEWS.
While teachers have concealed weapons around the buildings, there is signage on those buildings, as well as other safety measures in place on their campus. Safety measures include a school resource officer, extensive amounts of cameras, and one point of entry.
The district is planning to continue adding more safety layers. School leaders believe with all of the measures already in place, it makes them a less likely target.
“I’ve been very vocal about this ever since we rolled this out, so this is not a surprise or a secret to our community,” Wyen said. “It is an added layer to make us a hard target in the sense that if somebody comes into our building that is there for a purpose to harm children, then we have a team that’s going to respond.”
Faculty and teachers that participate in the program are certified by the Ohio Peace Academy Training Academy (OPOTA) and are said to recertify annually.