Ohio teachers and school personnel are now legally permitted to carry weapons on school grounds.
This week, Armed School Security Staff Bill (House Bill 99) went into effect, authorizing trained school staff who have met the necessary standards to carry firearms. This law would offer schools an additional option to provide more robust security for school children.
The legislation, which lessened the need for gun training in the name of school safety, was signed into law by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) in June.
“What the bill does is essentially reverts back to the prior practice of allowing local school districts to make a local decision on whether or not they will permit certain school staff members to be armed on school grounds,” said Gov. Mike DeWine when he signed the bill into law last June.
In accordance with this new law, school personnel must complete a minimum of 24 hours of initial training and 8 hours of re-certification training annually. The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) is in charge of this training.
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3News reached out to the Ohio Department of Public Safety to ask about whether any schools have already implemented House Bill 99, and received the following statement:
“The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) is in the process of developing state training curriculum as required by House Bill 99. Once finalized, the OSSC will use this curriculum to train school staff members authorized by their school districts to carry firearms. No training requests have been received because the state’s training is still being developed.”
Additionally, when 3News asked when the training will be finalized, the department responded they are working “as quickly as we can to finalize the curriculum.” Once the curriculum is finalized, the department said that “regional mobile training officers will work with schools who choose to arm their staff to ensure they know everything they need to know about the curriculum requirements.”
3News also reached out to school districts across Northeast Ohio to learn where they stand on House Bill 99. Both Akron Public School and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will not arm teachers.