Ohio Board of Education's Nick Owens Says School Security Should Be Decided Locally

Mar 16, 2018

Ohio Board of Education member Nick Owens says school security should be handled locally since rural districts -- such as the one he lives in, Georgetown Exempted -- are different than urban districts.
Credit STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Thousands of Ohio students held demonstrations Wednesday pushing for stricter state and federal gun laws in order to make their schools safer, but one Ohio Board of Education member says school security issues should be handled at the local level.

Ohio law requires each school administrator to create an emergency response plan for individual school buildings. Those plans should include protocols for how to respond to any threat of student safety and how to notify parents. But the state does not dictate security requirements for schools in terms of the hardware in a building—think metal detectors and security cameras.

Some districts, like Georgetown Exempted Village Schools in southwestern Ohio, allow certain teachers to carry firearms. State Board of Education member Nick Owens, who lives in Georgetown, says each district is unique and should have the right to make security decisions on its own.

“I think Georgetown schools in rural Brown County is a lot different than Columbus City schools and I think each should be decided as a local control issue.”

Wednesday, thousands of Ohio students held vigils remembering the 17 victims of the February Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Many of those demonstrations included calls for stricter gun laws and increased security in schools.