Even though some schools are already allowing workers to conceal carry on campus, the idea is still new to many — and has been met with both concern and gratitude. According to Superintendent Jamie Grime, the reaction to the new policy in Montpelier (Ohio) Exempted Village Schools has been 99 percent positive.

He explains the public’s reaction like this: “There’s the old adage that when seconds matter, law enforcement is minutes away. When there’s an active shooter, by the time law enforcement arrives, the deed has been done. We are looking to buy time and mitigate the threat to lessen the loss of life [and the public appreciates that].”

Advocates for arming school staff say these policies make sense because mass shooters target unprotected schools.

“We made schools gun-free zones, and it made us sitting ducks for those intent upon killing as many people as he can in a shooting spree,” says David Thweatt, Superintendent of Harrold, Texas, district schools. “A single security guard cannot possibly protect the entire school. We just added redundancy to make sure our kids are safe.”

As the Sandy Hook massacre triggers more schools to consider these policies, the time may soon arrive when janitors are packing heat, along with their brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning chemicals.  

Questions To Consider Prior To Permitting Weapons

The idea of allowing school custodians to conceal carry on campus has been reported in the national media, prompting questions from the general population.

Here are a few questions schools might want to consider asking themselves before arming their custodial crew:
• How many employees should be allowed to conceal carry on school grounds? Should these employees be working directly with the students in the classroom?
• What will allowing weapons on campus mean to the recruiting/hiring process and background checks, if anything?
• Will the armed worker be in a position/location within the school that will assist in taking down a threat?
• Who will conduct the training necessary for those employees permitted to conceal carry on school grounds?
• Where will weapons be stored/carried while students and staff are on site?  
• If schools permit concealed carry for employees, what is the policy for school visitors who are legally permitted to conceal carry?
• Should the school be working with the local police department to also conduct regular school-wide drills for dealing with a threatening situation?

RONNIE GARRETT is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wis.

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Developing Policies For Concealed Carry In Schools