RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Supreme Court voted in favor of striking down a 2018 policy made by Madison Local School District, which allowed up to 10 designated employees with CCW licenses to carry concealed weapons while on the job.
Now, Mad River Local Schools in the Miami Valley is working with local law enforcement to better protect their students without their Armed Resource Team.
In 2016, Superintendent Chad Wyen met with the Mad River School Board to come up with a solution that would protect students in the event of a school shooting. They decided on a 30 person “Armed Response Team” made up of some staff members, including the superintendent himself, that would train and know the whereabouts of secret firearms in each school district building.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” said Wyen. “The way that we would be able to continue the response team is have members have 700 hours of Ohio peace officer training.”
The current ruling says that Ohio school teachers, administrators and staff members can’t carry firearms while on duty unless they’ve completed basic peace officer training or have 20 years of experience as a peace officer.
According to Wyen, the Armed Response Team has completed several trainings, have their CCW licenses, and train monthly at gun ranges or virtual simulations to be prepared for an attack.
Wyen says the community has been supportive of this team since its inception in 2017.
“Our community has really embraced the team and it’s just part of our culture now and part of our plan and just another layer to approach school safety,” he said.
Wyen says he’s been in discussions with local state representatives and lawmakers to see if there can be amendments to the decision to allow Mad River to continue with their resource team, but in the meantime, they will work with local law enforcement to best protect the students.
“I feel like every single student here in our district is my student and an extension of my family,” said Wyen. “It’s my responsibility to make sure they’re safe when they come into my school and [that] I protect them.”