Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is tired of school shootings taking precious, innocent lives – so he’s doing something about it. Just one day after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Jones took to social media to encourage people to consider armed teachers and metal detectors in school. He then followed up the call to action by announcing a plan to host free conceal and carry lessons for any Butler County teacher who was interested.
• It took only 20 minutes for 50 local teachers to sign up for the Sheriff’s announced class. Just an hour over the announcement, Jones had 100 teachers registered and was making plans to expand the sessions.
• News station WLWT interviewed Jones about the sessions the next day. “We’ve got to do something, and I’m doing it today,” he said. Jones revealed that his sessions would inform teachers, “about school shootings, [and] what to do when someone brings a gun to the schools.”
• The Sheriff said his sessions would train teachers in gun identification, safe use, how to recognize available rounds and the potential damage from every bullet shot. His goal is to ensure that teachers (whether they choose to carry or not) are prepared for the eventuality of another event.
• Florida state Sen., Dennis Baxley, is supporting Jones’ suggestion by putting forth a bill that allows certain teachers to carry in school. The legislation is supposed to take effect February 20, 2018.
• Controversial Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, also agreed with Jones’s plan. DeVos indicated that permission to carry in school comes down to individual states, saying they “clearly have the opportunity and the option” if desired.
• Despite his generous offer, Jones cannot grant permission to carry to teachers. That decision comes down to the school board. Still, helping teachers understand guns and shootings still benefits teachers and the students they serve.