COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - The real first responders during school shootings are teachers inside their classrooms, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told reporters during a news conference at his office in Columbus this morning.
"They're the ones who are there. They're the ones who are going to make the life and death decisions," he said.
DeWine says his office plans to offer educators courses on how to deal with shooters on campus and other threats to students. The first course will be offered January 17th. The attorney general believes that it would also be a good idea to train educators and police officers together since they must work hand-in-hand during a school shooting emergency.
In addition, DeWine is adding mental health experts to his task force on school safety.
"Because as we certainly know, and as I have stated time and time again, this is a mental health problem as much as it is anything else," he said.
DeWine's news conference comes five days after the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Hours after Americans became fully aware of the scope of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, DeWine's office criticized the leaders of 145 schools, 22 of them in the FOX19 viewing area, who he believed had not submitted the proper school safety plans and floor plans to his office. The submission of those plans is required by Ohio law.
FOX19 has learned at least one of those school leaders maintains he did submit a plan earlier that should have already been on-file. The school official also invited us onto his campus to see what type of planning he and his colleagues have done in the event a shooter threatens students. We will bring you that exclusive story Thursday night on the FOX19 News at Ten.