Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones pleaded with schools leaders to heed his advice after a loaded and stolen gun was found on a student at Hamilton Freshman School Wednesday.
School officials discovered the gun on a 16-year-old student when he had his property searched for vaping on school grounds. District leaders sent a letter home with students to parents Wednesday, saying “officials determined that there was no other viable threat present and no lockdown was deemed necessary.”
“School officials immediately put the student in the custody of our School Resource Officer (SRO) and standard safety procedures were conducted that resulted in the removal of the weapon and student from the building within minutes of the discovery,” the letter continued. “We encourage you to continue to stress the importance of school safety to your students and to report anything perceived as a possible threat.”
Jones, however, thinks that schools need to begin arming their staff, and is even offering a free firearms training for all interested teachers. Earlier this year, he offered the same training in response to the Parkland shooting. The response, he says, was so overwhelming that he had to limit the training to 300 teachers.
“It proves that teachers want to,” he told Fox 19, noting that he had 250 teachers sign up in under 24 hours.
“If guns are in schools, they need to understand what they look like, sound like and what they can do,” he added.
Jones has some clear grievances with school leaders, whom he has been urging to install metal detectors in schools for the past two years.
“What I’m telling you is that the school system that we have here in Hamilton—I’ve been telling them and telling them for the past two years: they need metal detectors in the schools, they need to scan these kids coming in. Yesterday they had a kid with a small handgun fully loaded. How many days has that gun been in the school?” he said in a Facebook video Thursday.
Jones urged parents to take matters into their own hands and contact their children’s schools to express support for his proposals.
“You as a parent should be concerned. You should call these people. You should ask and demand where are the metal detectors?” he said, stating that the superintendent has been fighting him “every step of the way.”
“What I’m telling you is they need to look at arming school personnel. They still do not have enough school personnel armed. They need to have them armed,” he continued, calling school leaders “two-faced” for not making school security a higher priority.
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