Michael D. Clark reports:
There has been plenty of talk but little else since Butler County’s sheriff publicly floated the idea of retired cops working as armed substitute teachers.
Still, the man behind the idea remains optimistic. Scott Miller’s positive attitude is borne from painful adversity.
The former Mason Police officer was twice hit by cars during a two-year stretch while on duty, breaking his back and leaving his lower spine mangled and held together by metal. Forced into disability retirement in 2010, Miller recently came up with the novel idea, which has garnered statewide attention, during the days after the Sandy Hook school massacre in December.
In January, Miller approached his former boss, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, with his idea. Soon after, Jones called a press conference to announce his department’s full backing and urged public and private schools in the county to enact the program as allowed by state law.
Districts haven’t had time to consider idea
So far, none of the 10 public school boards in Butler County, nor any private schools or the Butler Tech school board, has voted to adopt the program allowing qualified and armed ex-officers to work as substitute teachers. Some district officials say discussions may be held in coming board meetings. Most school systems’ governing boards say they need more time, since Jones announced the program only Jan. 17.
District officials also say they are reluctant to discuss any school security measures publicly for fear of jeopardizing student safety by pointing out what their schools currently lack.
“I knew schools would move slowly,” said Miller from his Fairfield Township home. “It’s a different concept and will take some time for them to digest, but some school districts will eventually sign on.”