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From arming teachers to adding security guards, schools are considering all options

Posted at 10:36 PM, Feb 22, 2018

This week, President Trump suggested arming teachers to enhance classroom safety, and it's getting mixed reviews - especially from teachers.

"My initial thought when I heard we should arm teachers, is that people aren't talking to teachers," said Bridgette Finnegan, a teacher in Northeast Ohio.

For Finnegan, the thought of carrying a loaded gun into her classroom every day is an awful idea.

"Putting this on top of it, this very important task and dangerous task, would create situations where people might be like, yeah, I forgot my gun in the bathroom," she said.

To Finnegan's point, in 2016 a group of elementary school students in Pennsylvania found a loaded gun in the bathroom, left behind by a teacher.

In 2014 at Idaho State University, a teacher accidentally shot himself in the foot when his handgun went off in front of his chemistry class.

In towns like Streetsboro, the focus has shifted towards enhancing security and away from arming teachers.

"Anybody that says, 'this won't happen in my place,' is absolutely dead wrong," said Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska.

Broska is proposing adding six armed security guards to the town's school buildings and enhancing video surveillance at all schools. He plans to pay for this through a half million dollar levy, which he hopes voters will approve of in November.

"A uniformed, professional, physical deterrent is something more than arming a teacher would be," said Broska.

Streetsboro parents agreed.

"Extra security is better for all the students," said Barry Sutton, a Streetsboro parent.  

"I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think that we should absolutely protect our children," said Nicole Sutton.

In a statement from a representative of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the union does not support or advocate arming Ohio school teachers.