Benjamin Logan BoE special town hall meeting sees over 100 in attendance

The Benjamin Logan Board of Education held a special town hall-style meeting Wednesday evening with just a little over 100 people in attendance. Twelve community members spoke to the board, giving their opinions on the possibility of the district adopting an armed response team this September.

While most of the community support was in favor of arming teachers/staff, there were several who were not, including two teachers.

Jodie Kavanagh, a high school mathematics teacher, expressed her concern that arming teachers would possibly interrupt education by being a distraction and that prevention would be more of a solution.

4th-grade teacher Bruce Smith also expressed his concern saying that the district had not thought through enough details for him to support the idea. Community member, parent, and alumni, Lance Predmore welcomed the idea saying it would give him peace of mind knowing that there were staff members armed to protect his children.

The following resolution is in front of the school board and is set to be voted on later this month:

The Superintendent is recommending the approval of the following Resolution:

WHEREAS, this Board of Education is greatly concerned about the safety of our students, staff, parents, and volunteers while utilizing our school buildings; and

WHEREAS, in wake of recent school violence throughout the country, it is apparent that our legitimate concerns need to be addressed; and

WHEREAS, in the event of a safety crisis at one of our school buildings, reliance upon existing authorities for assistance may not be logistically practical; and

WHEREAS, the State of Ohio recently enacted House Bill 99, allowing Boards of Education to choose to have an armed presence in its school buildings if certain procedures are followed and requirements are met; and

WHEREAS, our Superintendent and Board Legal Counsel, have reviewed the requirements and procedures that need to be followed in order for this Board to have an armed presence in its school buildings; and

WHEREAS, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office has been consulted and provided necessary input into the procedural process; now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that this Board hereby authorizes our Superintendent to develop an armed response team consistent with the requirements contained in House Bill 99;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that our Superintendent is directed to complete the following:

Solicit volunteers for the District response team and determine eligibility, including appropriate background checks.

Ensure that selected individuals are trained in accordance with requirements.

If additional or alternate training is desired, the Superintendent will make such a determination.

Upon selection of volunteers and the successful training of such volunteers, the Superintendent shall submit a list of individuals to the Board for approval, such list to remain confidential and is not a Public Record (5) Provide Statutory Notice to the Community that the District has authorized individuals to convey deadly weapons.

Provide the Ohio Department of Public Safety with a list of these individuals.

Consult with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office to determine the specific ordnance appropriate for team members.

Coordinate District efforts with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies as appropriate.

The Superintendent is authorized to initiate any further acts necessary for the development of our response team.

The Superintendent is authorized to purchase materials and other expenses, including weapons, as he deems appropriate.

The school board is expected to make a decision on the resolution later this month.