Who Just Got Tasked With Protecting Our Schools?

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Was this the right decision?

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that will allow teachers, principals, and other staff members within the state to gain authorization to carry a firearm in their classroom after they complete a 24 hours training.

The new law, which was originally introduced by state Republican Rep. Thomas Hall as House Bill 99, reduces the required training hours from 700 hours to just four hours for training and completing simulated exercises and 20 hours that will be spent on first aid training, reunification education and the history of school shootings.

“In life we make choices, and we don’t always know what the outcome is going to be,” DeWine said during a press conference on Monday. “What this Legislature has done, I’ve done by signing it, is giving schools an option based on their particular circumstances to make the best decision they can make with the best information they have. That’s all any decision-maker can do.”

The New York Times reported that in Ohio school employees could gain authorization to carry guns in the school, by the local school board. However, a 2021 Ohio Supreme Court ruling set a training requirement for those in schools that would be the same as the one followed by those in law enforcement. This would total over 700 hours of training.

The Republican governor also spoke about other school safety measures he was promoting which include around $100 million for school security upgrades.

After the bill’s passing DeWine’s office issued a statement saying we “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,” he added. “I look forward to signing this important legislation.”