Tag Archives: Stoneman Douglas High School

School Shooting Survivor Says Armed Teacher Could Have “Stopped the Threat”

Parkland, Florida— While a number of students at Stoneman Douglas High School have called for stricter gun control following the deadly school shooting, 17-year-old Stoneman student Colton Haab told Fox News that he believes football coach Aaron Feis, who was reportedly killed while shielding students from gunfire, would have been able to neutralize the threat had he been allowed to carry his firearm on school grounds.

“If Coach Feis had had his firearm in school that day, I believe that he most likely could’ve stopped the threat,” Haab told Fox News. Haab is a Junior ROTC member who has been revered for shielding and directing as many as 70 kids to safety during the shooting.

Assistant football coach Feis was remembered by students and staff alike as a “hero” for turning himself into a human shield in order to save the lives of others.

“He died the same way he lived— he put himself second,” school spokesperson Denise Lehtio said. “He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero.”

Haab explained that he saw Feis, who was reportedly a trained security guard in addition to being an assistant football coach, run toward the sound of the gunshots, only to later learn that Feis was killed as he tried to shield students from gunfire.

In an interview with Fox News, Haab said:

“I believe if we did bring firearms on campus to teachers that are willing to carry their firearm on school campuses—and they got their correct training for it—I think that would be a big beneficial factor for school safety. Because if Coach Feis had had his firearm in school that day, I believe that he most likely could’ve stopped the threat.”

An article from CNN reported that Haab, who is a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), jumped into action upon hearing gunshots and directed around 70 students into a classroom where they proceeded to use bulletproof Kevlar mats from the JROTC’s marksmanship program to act as protection in case found by the gunman.

“We lined [the students] up into the wall and along the back of the wall…and from there I was standing with my first sergeant and I said, ‘these are kevlar, these are bulletproof material,’” Haab said. “We started moving the kevlar sheets forward.”

The Florida school shooting has reignited a wide-ranging debate as to how to most effectively stop the school shooting phenomena, with some in favor of stricter gun control laws while others support armed guards or allowing trained teachers to carry firearms on school grounds.

Haab recently told local reporters that he backed out of attending a CNN town hall focused on the Stoneman Douglas school shooting, claiming that his own prepared commentary was proposed by CNN to be replaced with “scripted” material.

Hundreds of Teachers Sign Up for Ohio Sheriff’s Concealed Carry Training

Hamilton, OH— Butler County, Ohio Sheriff Richard K. Jones, in response to the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, has reportedly begun offering free concealed carry classes and additional training for school teachers.

On February 18th he tweeted:

Based on a Facebook post on the Butler County Sheriff’s Office page, within 20 minutes posting his offer of free concealed carry classes, Jones received 50 emails.

https://www.facebook.com/ButlerCountySO/posts/1421060414683988

By February 20, the number of requests for concealed carry training had reached a staggering 300, forcing Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones to announce that the limit for the class had been reached, according to NBC 5. Class dates and times have not yet been made public.

“People in the schools need to be trained with firearms, period,” the outspoken Sheriff Jones said. “Even if you hate guns, you need to know about guns if you’re in the schools.”

NBC 5 reports that currently in Butler County, the Edgewood School District is the only one that allows certain administrators to be armed. Jones said he will use the eight-hour concealed carry class to educate teachers about firearms and school shootings.

“We’re going to talk about school shootings. We’re going to talk about the different types of guns, and we’re going to make it a very interesting and very thoughtful class,” Jones said.

Additionally, Jones said he plans on discussing the benefits of allowing teachers to carry with other school districts, but stressed that that decision ultimately lies with the school board.

“If the school boards want to give the authority to teachers to be armed…[they] can do that, they have the authority to do it, but I’m going to do my part, and I assume I’m probably the only one in the state of Ohio that’s doing that – but something has to happen,” Jones noted.

While Jones acknowledged that he does not have the authority to allow teachers to be armed, it’s reported that wants to do his part in helping teachers be prepared if their school board makes the decision to allow armed teachers.

While certainly in the minority, there are numerous public schools in the U.S. that allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms, with the idea that a warning of armed staff would provide a stronger deterrent than a “gun-free” zone sign.

Texas Police Chief Advocates Arming Teachers to Prevent Mass Shootings

Argyle, TX— In the wake of the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17-year-old survivor Colton Haab told Fox News that he believes that if his football coach Aaron Feis, who died in the attack shielding students from gunfire, had been able to carry his firearm at school, he would have been able to effectively obstruct the gunman.

“If Coach Feis had had his firearm in school that day, I believe that he most likely could’ve stopped the threat,” Haab told Fox News.

Haab went on to explain that Feis, who was a trained security guard in addition to being an assistant football coach, upon hearing the sound of gunfire, sped off in his golf cart toward the sound of the gunshots.

While arming teachers is not common practice, The Daily Caller reports that one Texas school district has been doing exactly that for the past four years. In 2014, motivated in part by the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Argyle Independent School District began allowing staff members to carry guns on school grounds after “intense interviews and training” in an effort to mitigate the threat from a potential mass shooting.

Argyle Independent School District Police Chief Paul Cairney appeared on MSNBC over the weekend and discussed the steps staff must take in order to carry a firearm on the campus, and he was asked if he was concerned for the safety of students due to the presence of firearms.

Cairney noted that the practice of allowing armed staff is highly controlled, stating that when it comes to school shooting the “time to do nothing is over.” A recent WFAA-TV report explained the process to carry a firearm in the Argyle Independent School District:

To become a school marshal, those employees must undergo extensive active shooter and firearms training with the state. They must also undergo a mental health evaluation.

They receive a school marshal designation by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and must renew their license every two years by undergoing the same training and evaluation.

Outside of campuses in Keene and Argyle, signs warn visitors that there are staff members who are armed and are prepared to protect children.

“We handpicked these people, we make sure they go through an extensive screening process. They go through a psychological evaluation and then I go through an intense training where they shoot over 900 rounds of ammunition and just a few days,” Cairney told Fox4 News.

To critics of arming teachers, Cairney said, “If you think of something better, let us know. We’re willing to listen, but at the same time, the day of doing nothing is over.”

Watch the interview with Cairney below: