Point by point response to the most recent concerns about POST aired on Local 12 WKRC

Teachers all over the country are wrestling with safety issues.  In Adams County a few months ago, some Ohio educators were getting trained on how to use guns in their schools.  The hot-button subject came up in Boone County February 19th when Joe Kalil, a certified federal firearms instructor and pilot, presented his program called “POST” at a public meeting.

Boone County School Board member, Ed Massey, tells us it’s a plan that’s meeting with resistance from the Boone County School Board for multiple reasons.

“One, our teachers went into the profession of education to be teachers, not armed guards.  Two we have a major concern about the liability to our district either on the board or schools and 3, this program is really not tested.  The ability to be trained with a weapon and shoot into a target on a non-stress situation is totally different than a live fire situation,” he said.

via School board exploring safety issues in arming teachers – Local 12 WKRC-TV Cincinnati – Top Stories.

Let’s look at the objections that Mr. Massey raises point by point:

our teachers went into the profession of education to be teachers, not armed guards

I went into my profession to be an engineer (ended up in marketing but that’s another story).  Mr. Massey went into his profession to be a lawyer.  Both of us have our concealed carry permits (at least according to a Facebook post he made a few months back which strangely I can’t find now….happy to correct this point if I am wrong / misremembering).  I know I don’t consider myself an armed guard.  I think Mr. Massey would allow me the speculation that he doesn’t either.  Teachers that would make the choice to be trained and then armed does are not choosing to be armed guards.  They are choosing to exercise the same rights that Mr. Massey and I have chosen to exercise.

we have a major concern about the liability to our district either on the board or schools

Valid concern.  What is being done to address it?  Maybe a few ideas to get the process started:

  • The board could ask the three insurance agencies that write school policies in Kentucky get a full briefing on the training plan in POST so they could make an educated estimate of the costs (that’s what other states have done).
  • You could talk to school leaders in other states to find out what they did to get insurance (I have the contact info for a few and would be happy to provide it to you).
  • You could take a look into the pending litigation in the Chardon HS shooting case which might demonstrate that not doing everything you can (liability of omission) is just as real as liability of action.  Tough spot to be in…
  • You could have an open and honest discussion with all teachers and staff, giving them the whole story about POST and then let them freely express their views.

this program is really not tested .  The ability to be trained with a weapon and shoot into a target on a non-stress situation is totally different than a live fire situation

Schools are different environments than airplanes.  Schools are different environments than traffic stops.  But stress is stress regardless of the environment.  The POST program leverages all that we know about inducing stress through training to provide some level of inoculation to its effects.  This is the same level of training that SROs/police officers and armed pilots receive.  To say that POST training is all about standing on a line and shooting at a cardboard target demonstrates the lack of knowledge of what the program really entails.  That lack of knowledge is something we are ready and willing to fix.

I am more than happy to let the facts of the POST program and what we know from other armed teacher programs in other states stand in the full sun light of reason and have a decision made.  Until that time we are dealing in speculation, feelings and emotions.  Our children deserve more than that.

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