Ohio’s Governor, Mike DeWine, is expected to sign a bill approved by the state’s lawmakers that would permit school teachers and other public school employees to carry a firearm as quickly as the Fall semester.
The Armed School Security Staff bill, HB 99, would offer schools an additional option to provide more robust security for school children following a recent uptick in school shootings.
“Last week, I called on the General Assembly to pass a bill that would allow local school districts, if they so choose, to designate armed staff for school security and safety,” DeWine said in a statement on Thursday.
“My office worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training. House Bill 99 accomplishes these goals, and I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers. I look forward to signing this important legislation,” he added.
HB 99 would require school employees who carry a firearm to obtain a certain number of hours of training and pass mandatory examinations to carry the firearms into the school. School employees would also be required to receive eight hours of recertification training each year to maintain that right.
“The bill is meant to override a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, which interpreted current Ohio law to require that armed teachers would need the same training as police, amounting to hundreds of hours,” the Associated Press reported. “That would put the practice out of reach of almost all districts because of the time and expense.”
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