Sheriff teases announcement this week about school safety: 'It will surprise you'

Sheriff teases announcement this week about school safety: 'It will surprise you'
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones greets teachers at his gun training class Feb. 26. (Photo: Butler County Sheriff's Office Facebook page)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - A surprising announcement is coming this week from someone concerned about safety in a local school, the Butler County sheriff says in a series of tweets.

So far, the normally outspoken sheriff is staying mum and won't explain.

Jones drew national attention last month when he posted a simple, three setence free firearm training classes for teachers in the wake the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting that ended with a former student charged with murdering 17 students and teachers.

Response to the classes was immediately overwhelming.

Hundreds of Butler County teachers and other school employees enrolled so fast, the sheriff had to cut off sign-ups at 300.

So far, more than 100 school employees have completed concealed carry training and more are expected.

A few days after Jones announced he was offering the classes, President Donald Trump publicly said for the first time he was in favor of arming teachers with law enforcement or military backgrounds who underwent extensive training. He said they should be paid a bonus for doing it.

On Sunday, the White House announced Trump's plan to combat school shootings include the creation of a task force and an effort to "harden" schools so they are less vulnerable to attack.

This week, students and teachers across the country are planning to walk out of their schools and universities to honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas and press lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws, according to EMPOWER, the group organizing the action.

The walkout will take place at Wednesday at 10 a.m. across every time zone and last for 17 minutes to honor the lives of the victims.

Among their demands, participants want Congress to:

  • Ban assault weapons
  • Require universal background checks before gun sales
  • Pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior

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