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School trains staff members to carry guns at school

Staff members at Hicksville Exempted Village Schools in Defiance County are trained and loaded.

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 10:10 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 10:45 PM

HICKSVILLE, Ohio (WFFT) - Schools across Indiana and Ohio are allowed to have certain people carry guns on school grounds.

However, not many do.

The four public school systems in Allen County told WFFT school resource officers are the only ones allowed to carry.

Staff members at Hicksville Exempted Village Schools in Defiance County are trained and loaded.

A sign is posted at each entrance, letting people know staff members inside are armed. The signs have been up for about three years.

Superintendent Keith Countryman said it is a deterrent to keep kids safe.

"We're just not going to be waiting around and have no line of defense except for throwing books and erasers at the bad guy," Countryman said.

He said that's why he is asking certain staff members to carry a gun at school.

"We know we're assuming a risk. We know we are taking on a huge responsibility. But we're prepared to do that to protect our kids," said Countryman.

Countryman added the guns are not in the classroom very often, and staff members authorized to carry go through tactical training every year.

"It's a big responsibility, but I think the responsibility outweighs the damages that could happen," said Richard Mendez, who was nephews in Hicksville Village Schools.

Mendez said he feels at ease knowing people in the building are armed.

"It deters. Knowing people, even if kids are there, knowing there are people inside the building that are going to deter them," Mendez told WFFT.

Countryman said the guns are only in the building just in case and staff stops using them once police arrive.

"We're not trying to replace the police, we're not trying to start an army. We're just concerned about that time if someone were enter our building until the police get here," Countryman told WFFT.

Hicksville Village Schools doesn't have a school resource officer, but they have more than 100 cameras and secured entrances.

"It doesn't matter how much security a school has. You can arm everybody in the building if you want to. When these people decide they're going to do these things, it's not going to end pretty no matter how much security you have," said Countryman.

There will be a parent meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. to go over security measures in place at the school.

Countryman said school officials will also talking about in the works and taking any suggestions from parents.

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