Greenfield OKs open carry for school safety director


By Gary Abernathy - gabernathy@timesgazette.com



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The Greenfield Exempted Village School District will have at least two armed safety officers on site after the school board on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the district’s safety director to openly carry a firearm.

Supt. Joe Wills said Friday the board of education voted Thursday evening to authorize Bradley George to openly carry a firearm. George is the district’s transportation and safety director.

He began working in that capacity at the beginning of the current school year after retiring from his position as chief of the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District.

George has also been a Certified Ohio Peace Officer since 1991. He has served with the Highland County Sheriff’s Department as a special deputy and was employed as an officer and chief with the Village of Leesburg Police Department. He is currently a reserve patrolman for the Greenfield Police Department, according to biographical details provided by the district.

In addition to George, the school also has a full-time Greenfield Police Department officer onsite during school hours.

“We believe this action will assist our students, staff and community members with overall safety and security throughout the district,” said Wills.

Additionally, Wills said Friday that meetings have been held with staff regarding safety and security, and additional measures will be incorporated based on those conversations.

Schools locally and across the nation have been reevaluating their security measures after the Parkland, Fla. school shootings on Feb. 14. Hillsboro City Schools held a public safety forum Wednesday evening.

President Donald Trump has endorsed fortifying schools, to make them less appealing targets, and he repeatedly suggested arming teachers. Since 2016, the Bright Local School District has employed a policy allowing trained staff members to have concealed handguns in school on a volunteer basis.

Around the country, many of the proposals for immediate action have come from parents, elected officials or police, and not education leaders, who have seen security costs take up an ever larger amount of their budgets.

With most school districts strapped financially, security expenses threaten to take money away from instructional programs, according to Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or follow on Twitter @AbernathyGary. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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http://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/03/web1_Bradley-George-CMYK-1.jpgGeorge

By Gary Abernathy

gabernathy@timesgazette.com

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