Another Ohio school district incorporates armed, trained staff members into safety plan

The (Hamilton) Journal-News is reporting that the Madison Local School District in Middletown, OH has joined school districts across the state by implementing a comprehensive safety that includes an armed response team inside the school.

From the article:

This resolution is part of the district’s participation in the FASTER Saves Lives program, school officials said today.

The FASTER program — Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response — consists of a 26-hour training focused on armed response, crisis management, and emergency medical aid, the district said.

Staff participation in the FASTER program will be voluntary, Madison school board president Dave French said.

Staff who do choose to participate will be trained in the early identification of at-risk students, armed response, crisis management and emergency medical aid, he said.

“I hope our community understands that the FASTER program is so much more than just about arming staff in our schools,” French said in a statement. “The training that is part of the program will make our district more safe and our staff better prepared to handle an emergency situation.”

The Board of Education approved the meadsure, saying the safety of each and every child in Madison Twp. has to be the “district’s highest priority."
According to coverage by WCPO (ABC Cincinnati), school officials in some districts still have their heads stuck in the sand.

“Teachers are inherently coached to be nurturers, and when you have more guns in schools that can be a difficult situation -- doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong," [Ludlow Independent Schools Superintendent Mike] Borchers said. “I think it’s something we all have to look at from our own situations.”

Dawn Laber, principal of Moyer Elementary School, said school officials need to arm themselves with the right tools in terms of preparation, not with weapons.

Security-minded parents who live in places with differing philosophies at area schools may want to keep this in mind and consider open-enrolling in a school that is capable of providing immediate protection for their children.

In response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adult staff members, Buckeye Firearms Foundation launched an emergency response training program here in Ohio for teachers, administrators, and other school staff.

Called FASTER Saves Lives (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response), the nonprofit program has to date provide high-level training to nearly 1300 teachers and staff members from 226 school districts in 12 states. This includes teachers and staff in 76 of Ohio's 88 counties.

"The response from Ohio educators has been more enthusiastic than we could have ever imagined," said Joe Eaton, FASTER Program Director.

"When we first announced that we planned to train teachers in armed response and emergency medical aid," Eaton continued, "some people said teachers would never sign up. But within days of announcing the program, we had 600 apply for training. In weeks, it soared to over 1,000. Today we have nearly 2,000 faculty members from all over Ohio waiting in line for a chance to get this training. And more are contacting us every day."

The enthusiasm for this program has gone far beyond Ohio. School staff from six other states have attended FASTER training. In addition, instructors from as far away as Colorado have traveled to Ohio to see how the program works and take the idea back to their home state.

Created by concerned parents, law enforcement, and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts, FASTER is a groundbreaking, nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training.

The program is funded by thousands of small, individual donations to Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization based in Ohio and the sister organization to Buckeye Firearms Association. Classes can be provided at NO COST to school personnel or school districts.

The program presents a carefully-structured curriculum with over 30 hours of hands-on training over a 3-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately. It is a well-established fact that faster response to school shootings and other violence results in fewer lives lost.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.