TOLEDO, Ohio -- A rural school district in Ohio is drawing attention with its plans to arm a handful of its nonteaching employees with handguns this year -- perhaps even janitors.
Four employees in the Montpelier schools have agreed to take a weapons training course and carry their own guns inside the district's one building, which houses 1,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, school officials said.
"It's kind of a sign of the times," Superintendent Jamie Grime said Friday.
The Toledo Blade reported that the employees were janitors, but school officials would not confirm that to The Associated Press, saying only that they are employees who don't have direct supervision over the students in the northwest Ohio district.
The four employees who will carry guns all volunteered to take part, Grime said. The school plans to pay for them to attend a two-day training course.
"Putting a firearm in a school is a huge step," Grime said. "We're going to do it properly. These people need the proper training."
The move comes as districts and lawmakers across the nation weigh how to protect students following the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and after the National Rifle Association called for an armed officer in every U.S. school. The gunman in Newtown used a rifle to kill 20 students and six educators.
Lawmakers in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri and South Dakota are looking into legislation that would allow teachers and other school employees to have guns.
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called Friday for state-funded, specialized firearms training for teachers and administrators. School districts would decide who would carry weapons but not be required to participate, and training would include how to react during a shooting.