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Ohio Schools To Arm Janitors After Newtown Shooting

Agence France Presse

Ohio Schools To Arm Janitors After Newtown ShootingA rural Ohio school district plans to arm its janitors with handguns as a means of protecting students in the wake of the horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last month.

It is just the latest in a slew of school districts across the nation to arm staff members and Ohio's Buckeye Firearms Association said more than 1,000 educators have applied for their armed teacher training program.

The United States has been embroiled in a debate over gun control and the best way to protect children after an armed man slaughtered 20 six- and seven-year-olds, and six staff with an assault rifle in Newtown, Connecticut.

In a message to parents posted on the Montpelier school district's webpage on Thursday, Superintendent Jamison Grime said the board decided to arm staff in order to "substantially enhance and strengthen our security efforts."

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Acknowledging concerns that the decision was made without consulting parents, Grime noted that staff members won't begin carrying guns until they complete a two-day course in March.

Teachers and those with direct supervision of students will not be armed.

The Toledo Blade reported this is believed to be the first school district in the state to arm staff members.

School board President Larry Martin told the paper that the janitors -- all male -- will buy their own guns and be paid a stipend for carrying them on the job at the district's two schools.