As part of the growing and controversial national trend of arming teachers in the wake of the Newtown shootings, Ohio has begun active shooter training for educators.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the first "Active Shooter Training for Educators" class was held in Columbus Thursday.
The training, designed to help educators and law enforcement work together in response to acts of violence in schools, will be held in cities across the state, including Toledo.
DeWine says educators and law enforcement need to work together to formulate coordinated response plans if a crime were to occur. "In terms of student and teacher safety, our educators are the first responders," said DeWine.
The training is being offered by the Attorney General's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and the Ohio Department of Education. Educators will be instructed on how to protect students if an active shooter enters their school or classroom. Teachers and school staff will also be taught how to identify a troubled youth prior to crime occurring.
The courses do not include firearm training.
"The goal of these courses is to give our teachers and school staff ideas on what to look for and how to respond if the unthinkable happens," said DeWine. "We hope our educators never have to apply this training, but we want them to be prepared."
Courses will be held in Toledo on Feb. 12 at the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West. Interested educators can sign up for a course through the STARS program on the Ohio Dept. of Education's website.
Unlike the unarmed training being offered by the state, one northwest Ohio school has approved a resolution that will allow some staff members to have guns on school property. Montpelier Exempted Village Schools passed a measure, on Jan. 10, that would allow "certain individuals" to carry concealed firearms on school premises pursuant to Ohio Revised Code.
The state says they began preparing for the shooter training courses after the February 2012 shooting at Chardon High School. After December's Newtown shootings, the state says they began seeing increased demand for the training.