December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut jarred parents and teachers around Ohio.
Thinking more had to be done to protect their children, a number of teachers and school staff members around Ohio have been signing up for a variety of gun training courses offered at a discount or for free.
Italian photographer Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini documented a concealed weapons course for school personnel in South Point school district in southern Ohio, where it borders Kentucky and West Virginia. He followed them throughout the two-day course in the classroom and outside practicing their marksmanship.
About 30 or 40 school personnel participated in the class. Everyone Piccolomini photographed shared their names and where they taught.
“They were very open to be photographed,” he said. “I think because they believed in what they were doing and that it was their right to study and earn the right to carry a gun.”
Mark Christian, an assistant superintendent for the South Point district, has had his concealed carry license for eight years. He comes to the shooting portions of the local courses for teachers to socialize and to practice. Though he’s never used firearms in self-defense, he always has one with him when he’s not working.
“I tell people if I don’t have on a tie, I have on a gun,” Christian said.
Piccolomini’s images of the teachers participating in the course were boring and static, he said, but he saw something different when they went into the woods to…