The Mad River Local Schools district near Dayton has installed 32 safes among its schools, each containing a semiautomatic pistol and a removable magazine loaded with bullets. There are no armed security guards at the schools. The weapons are for teachers and staffers who have volunteered and trained to be part of the school’s response team if a shooter enters a building, the Washington Post reports. Each team member has access to a safe that can be reached quickly in case the unthinkable happens. “You are literally a sitting duck in a school if you are not able to respond,” says Mad River School District Superintendent Chad Wyen. “A bad guy is going to do whatever he wants in that building until someone either addresses him, or he runs out of ammunition, or he shoots and kills himself.”
In 10 states, schools allow teachers and staff members to be armed, with administrators’ permission. After the shooting that took 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month, pressure is increasing to expand that approach. A White House Commission on School Safety, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, will begin working with states to provide “rigorous firearms training” to some schoolteachers. Florida legislators passed a gun bill last week that includes $67 million for the training and arming of certain school staffers, though it excludes full-time teachers from those who are eligible to volunteer. During a visit to Stoneman Douglas, DeVos said arming teachers should not be mandated, but she pointed to gun and safety training programs for teachers in Texas and Polk County, Fl., as examples for schools that want to increase security.