- Will Garbe Staff Writer
Intruders beware: Thirty-two teachers and staff in Mad River Local Schools are now armed and ready to kill.
When school gets back in session Monday, each building will have a number of the trained staff members who are able to access hidden gun safes, the combinations of which are known exclusively to the individual staff member and the superintendent.
The district, which serves Riverside, is the first in Montgomery County to assemble an “armed and trained response team,” said Superintendent Chad Wyen. But he said the district is part of an emerging trend.
“It’s way more prevalent than people realize,” Wyen said of the district’s decision to arm employees. “Sixty-three out of 88 counties in Ohio have a district with a response team.”
In southwest Ohio, Wyen has worked with Sidney City Schools in Miami County, which has a similar plan, and Georgetown Exempted Village Schools in Brown County, east of Cincinnati.
Mad River Local Schools staff members interviewed to join the volunteer team, then attended one of two courses offering Ohio Peace Officer Training, which is the basic requirement for becoming a police officer. The team also trained at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office gun range.
So far, Wyen said, the response has been positive. He said only one parent has called him opposed to the plan.