Most Ohio high schools and some middle schools have an armed, uniformed police officer or deputy sheriff to help keep the peace. The Columbus Dispatch says educators wonder whether that’s enough after a gunman massacred 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. About 75 percent of the state’s more than 600 districts have at least one “resource officer,” as schools call the police officers, said Kari Parsons of the Ohio School Resource Officer Association.
Since Sandy Hook, the association has been flooded with calls from district officials asking how to bring in school resource officers or add more to their buildings. “They’ve said, ‘We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to get police officers in schools,’ ” Parsons said. President Barack Obama and the National Rifle Association have advocated an increased police presence in schools. Obama laid out plans for putting more than 1,000 police officers in schools. The new Comprehensive School Safety program would offer $150 million to school districts and law-enforcement agencies to hire officers, psychologists, social workers and counselors.