Updated Wed, Dec 19, 2012 10:57 am
Ohio's attorney general wants the state's teachers to partner with local law enforcement agencies for training on how to respond to school violence.
Attorney General Mike DeWine made the announcement Wednesday morning during a press conference.
"The real first responders in these situations are teachers. They are the ones that are there," said DeWine.
Ohio Department of Education Superintendent Mike Sawyer applauded the partnership.
"We all know in the state of Ohio we have suffered tragedy," said Sawyer, referring to the Cleveland-area Chardon High School shooting in February that killed three students and wounded three others.
DeWine says a school safety task force will be rolling out training courses beginning January 17.
The training collaboration aims to bring together educators, police officers and mental health professionals.
"It makes sense to be training them as well as law enforcement officers," said DeWine.
"Mental health is an important component that often gets over looked. The mental health resources in the state of Ohio need to be part of this conversation," said Sawyer.
The first training course, focusing on active shooter situations, will take place in central Ohio.
From there, courses will be modified for school districts in other areas of the state.
"This is about continuous improvement. It's not about resting on our laurels in our belief that we've done everything we can to keep kids safe at school," said Sawyer.
When asked if teachers and staffers should be allowed to carry guns in school, DeWine said that is a decision left up to local school boards.