Hamilton residents criticize school district’s decision to arm teachers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones talks about why he posted a billboard Monday critical of Hamilton??€™s school board.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hamilton’s school board voted 5-0 at its meeting Thursday to put a school security tax on the fall ballot.

The city school district will join six other school districts in Butler County in support of a proposed tax hike, which was created as part of the formation of a new school taxing district now allowed under a recent Ohio law.

ExploreMORE: Lakota nixes school security tax, but these 6 other districts are in

Hamilton’s meeting Thursday also included some heated criticisms directed toward the district leadership agreeing earlier this week to arm some school staffers in the coming school year.

A number of residents criticized district officials for agreeing this week with plans by Hamilton City Police and Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones to arm some school staffers.

ExploreMORE: Sheriff unveils billboard blasting Hamilton Schools’ security

On Monday, Jones unveiled a billboard in downtown Hamilton blasting Hamilton school officials for allegedly being lax in upgrading school security.

But Wednesday the Journal-News was the first to report that Hamilton school district officials have agreed to allow some school staffers who volunteer — and are properly trained and certified — to have access to a firearm while working in the city schools.

ExploreMORE: Hamilton Schools to arm some staffers in coming school year

“School was my safe place, not because somebody had a gun,” said resident Tammy Schwartz.

“When we continue to focus on guns, we are focusing on symptoms,” said Schwartz, who encouraged the board to instead expand mental health services to students.

Fellow resident Abby Ison said, “I don’t want you (board) to be blackmailed or intimidated by billboards.”

“I’m angry. He (Jones) overstepped his bounds again,” she said.

Staff writer Michael D. Clark contributed to this report.

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