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Montpelier Schools To Arm Some Staff

Archbold, Pettisville School Boards Have Not Discussed Issue


Four staff members in the Montpelier school district building will carry firearms to protect students.

That was the result of a vote by the Montpelier Exempted Village School board at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Locally, the Archbold and Pettisville school boards have not discussed the issue.

Jamison Grime, superintendent of the Montpelier district, said four individuals will be authorized to carry handguns in the school building during school hours.

Grime, a 1993 Archbold High School graduate and son of Brad and Marsha, Archbold, declined to identify the four for this newspaper, but other news sources reported they are the janitors.

The four, he said, do not directly supervise students.

Why not directly arm teachers?

Grime said he has three children in school at Montpelier, and doesn’t want guns in classrooms with them.

When asked whether the four individuals were asked, or volunteered, to carry firearms, he said, “It was a little bit of both.”

Grime said he had been in conversation with the four, who said they would be willing to carry weapons.

Training

Grime said he discussed the proposal to arm some school staff members with Jeffrey L. Lehman, Montpelier police chief, before it went to the school board.

“It’s as much his plan as mine,” Grime said.

Grime said the Williams County Sheriff Department was also notified.

The four staffers will attend a two-day training program in mid-March.

The four will receive a stipend to purchase the guns, holsters, and equipment. He did not give an exact amount, but it could be several hundred dollars, he said.

Archbold, Pettisville

Joe Long, interim superin- tendent of the Archbold Area School District, said under current Ohio law, guns, except those carried by authorized personnel such as police officers, are prohibited in school buildings.

However, Long said the school board can approve a policy to allow weapons in school buildings.

“Our board has not discussed it yet,” he said.

Steve Switzer, superintendent at Pettisville, said that district had not discussed the issue.

Reaction

In an open memo to Montpelier parents, faculty, and the community, Grime said, “We take great pride in ensuring that our facility is safe and secure, but the board of education and administration believed that this proactive measure would substantially enhance and strengthen our security efforts.”

Grime said he has received many phone calls and emails from area residents.

He said 95% of the contacts were positive; 5% were critical.

“I agree with the 5%; it rips my gut out even having to consider” guns in schools.

But, he said, the world is unpredictable.

“I have 1,200 people under one roof. That’s a lot of responsibility,” he said.



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