COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — As many teachers, students and parents prepare for another school year, Governor DeWine spoke to a crowd of educators about the ways lawmakers are working to ensure school safety.
The Ohio School Safety Summit was held at the Columbus Convention Center. During the event, DeWine announced the selection of the Ohio School Safety Center’s new chief training officer who will oversee OSSC’s Safety & Crisis Division.
The department was created as a part of House Bill 99, a law that allows teachers to carry a firearm inside classrooms.
In the video below Governor DeWine explains more about the history behind House Bill 99.
The law requires up to 24 hours of firearm training, reversing a prior Ohio Supreme Court ruling that mandated more extensive training for teachers and staff.
The legislation is not mandatory. Individual districts can make their own decision about the controversial issue.
“I think each school has to make its own decision based upon the totality of all the facts that they have and the circumstances, how close they are to a law enforcement agency, whether they have for example a school safety officer already in the school,” explained DeWine.
The Ohio Federation of Teachers representing 15,000 members, the majority being K-12 educators, feels that arming teachers puts educators in the impossible position of making life and death decisions without sufficient training, according to the union.
Cleveland and Akron school districts prohibited guns inside school buildings shortly after House Bill 99 was signed into law.
Governor DeWine also discussed a requirement for districts to have a School Threat Assesment Team. DeWine explained the purpose of the team is to assess the intent of a student that might be making a threat and assess the ability of the student to carry out that threat.
Governor DeWine said $100 million dollars has been set aside to help ensure every school in the state meets “basic security needs.” The governor did not elaborate or define “basic security needs” but said more money could be made available if deemed necessary.