Teachers, principals, assistant principals and deans are speaking out after the Connecticut school shootings. Over 900 have applied since the mass murder in the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown on Dec. 14.
"We had filled the first 24 spots within a few hours after making the announcement at the town hall meeting in Columbus a few weeks ago so we've slowly been increasing the number of applications," says Joe Eaton, of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "A lot more people are talking about this."
Eaton says the training, which will be held this spring at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, will be geared specifically towards a school environment.
"We're wanting to take this to the next level. The firearm is actually going to be the last part of this." Eaton adds. "That's a tool of last resort. So, we want to give the teachers any tools that they're comfortable with using."
Federal law says a person has to have a Concealed Carry permit to have a gun in a school. Ohio law says, not only does someone have to have the permit, but each individual school board has to approve someone having a gun on campus. Kentucky law has no provision for anyone having a gun on campus, except a cop.
So, in Ohio, why not just have teachers get a concealed carry permit?
"Our classrooms are a different situations that what a person will experience in a 'Concealed Carry' or a lot of other courses," says Eaton. "There are a lot of precious people in there that somebody should be aware of should someone try to commit violence against them."
He also said if no one on campus has a gun, the bad guys know it. Thinking like them, he says, "Do we see a sign that says 'I'm the only armed one there' or can we start taking down those signs and make the person think, I may meet some resistance here and may not meet my end goal."
Only 24 teachers and administrators will be able to enroll in the first class. After that, Eaton's not sure what will happen.
"We don't want dollars to stand between a teacher getting this type of training and keeping our kids safe. Our foundation estimated about a thousand dollars per teacher per curriculum for room and board, for the ammunition," Eaton adds. "Our foundation's going to pay for all that for the first 24. Of course, we're going to reach out to corporations and to the public for additional funding so that we can increase the number of teachers that go through this."