While some details — types and locations of weapons and names of trained staff — are undisclosed as part of Mad River’s safety plan, the mere fact that students and parents know guns are in the building is more information than other Ohio districts provide publicly.
“We decided to be transparent,” said Chris Burrow, superintendent of Georgetown Exempted Village Schools in Brown County, east of Cincinnati, in a 2017 interview. “We went to training this summer, and there were districts that did not tell their communities.”
The superintendents did not specify which schools they knew implemented gun training but did not tell the public.
Burrow’s staff follows a path already blazed by Edgewood City Schools in Butler County, which adopted a concealed carry policy in 2013.
Superintendents who have armed their teachers and staff have largely expressed positive results.
“We had others that just had a lot of questions, especially people who are hesitant around guns,” Burrow said. “I did have a few staff members who said, ‘I don’t know if I can work here.’”
“We worked through it,” he said. “They weren’t as adamantly opposed as they were before.”
Four years after bringing guns into Sidney City Schools, Superintendent John Scheu said more than 90 percent of the staff who first volunteered have stayed with the program. He said the district has no issue finding educators willing to bear arms.
“As a matter of fact, we have a waiting list,” Scheu said.