Butler County lawmaker to Madison Schools: ‘Remain unwavering’ in plan to arm staff

Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown
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Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown

Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, stands by Madison Schools’ plan to arm certain school staff as a way to enhance school security.

She released a statement of support a day after a handful of residents at Madison’s regular board meeting on Monday expressed their frustration with that plan.

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“This new firearm policy will do the utmost to protect our students and those who work inside Madison Local Schools,” Keller wrote in a letter to David French, president of the Madison school board.

Keller has been an ardent supporter of gun rights and was critical about students-turned-activists in the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting who called for stricter gun control laws.

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“There are over 600,000 law-abiding citizens who carry in the state of Ohio,” Keller wrote. “They are everywhere, walking among us, protecting both themselves and those around them by their responsible decision to conceal carry. If Madison teachers wish to be among that number, they should be permitted to do so.”

She also said those supporting gun control laws are “anti-gun special interest groups” and “are not representative of the population of Madison Twp.”

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“Demanding that teachers be denied their constitutional right to protect themselves, and their students, is outside the domain of authority of those who do not live and work inside the district,” she wrote.

The 1,500-student, rural Butler County school system experienced its own student shooting in 2016 that saw three wounded.

While most at Monday’s meeting opposed the Madison school board’s actions, there was a divided audience at a special meeting on Friday.

Some, like parent Sandra Ison, said arming teachers and staff has the potential to create “more danger than it does safety.” However, supporters of the plan, like Scott Propps, said having a few staff and teachers with quick access to a handgun “won’t make the school such a soft target.”

Keller asked French and the school board to “remain unwavering” on their plan.

This article contains previous reporting by staff writer Michael D. Clark.

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