AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Akron Public Schools released a statement on its decision not to allow faculty to be armed in its buildings.

“Schools should be a judgment-free environment serving as a safe haven for all children. This is what we seek to provide for the students in our district, APS said in a statement.

“We believe that permitting teachers and staff to be armed with weapons would make our schools less safe.”

Akron Public Schools statement

“We are saddened by the new law that permits the arming of school employees. Let’s be clear, we vehemently disagree that more guns are the answer [or more guns in schools are the answer]. We believe that permitting teachers and staff to be armed with weapons would make our schools less safe and increase the vulnerability of our students and staff,” the statement continued.

“Our district’s focus is on educating students and shining a light on their greatest expectations and dreams. We only do this by ensuring that our schools remain safe and secure. 

Following the most recent school shooting in Texas, as a nation and state, we should seek to remain vigilant in resolving the ease with which individuals can access deadly weapons. Law enforcement experts have attested that arming more school staff with guns would do little to nothing to protect themselves and their students from gun violence in an era when assault weapons remain easily accessible. 

We, therefore, stand united in calling for common-sense solutions to keep schools safe and opposing arming school staff. We support the board’s resolution and policy changes aimed at keeping our schools safe by refusing to use the option that this new law offers. By doing so, we are keeping our focus on providing the highest quality education to all of our scholars.”

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District was one of the first to announce it would not be allowing armed staff.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 99 on June 2. It allows districts to vote on whether to allow armed staff.

School employees who carry guns would need 24 hours of initial training to qualify in districts that allow it.

The APS statement was issued jointly by the APS Board of Education, the superintendent and local unions.