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Arming School Personnel

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With the passage of new lower guidelines for training and along with other gun legislation and law, the focus is on the local school board.

Be clear about the issue. Visit FAQ below!

 

Know the local policy: visit your local schools website.

 

Ask questions of the administration and the School Board

 

Demand Transparency:

Visit Tool Kit

 

Advocate for safe schools without armed teachers

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Armed School Personnel is the Decision of a Local School Board

Ohio House Bill 99, which was signed into law on June 13, 2022, reduced the current firearm training requirements for school personnel from 700 hours to only 24 hours, allowing School Boards to again make the decision to arm school personnel without a tremendous cost for training. 

 

This was a bill about necessary training in order to be authorized by a School Board to carry a gun into the school. The bill was introduced as a reaction to the Ohio Supreme Court decision in the case of Gabbard v. Madison Local School District Board of Education which affirmed that longstanding Ohio law requires comprehensive training for any school employee who carries a gun in school.  The decision affirmed a ruling by the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals, which ordered the Madison Local School District to halt its armed teachers program which required as little as 24 hours of training.

 

This new law now emphasizes the need to let the public know the policy of the district.

When did Ohio first have teachers being armed?

Local School Boards in Ohio started arming teachers in 2012.  Rock Hill Superintendent Wes Hairston was the first to publicly state that the district started arming teachers and staff after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Many districts did so quietly so it is hard to know how many made this decision. 

What happened after the Ohio Supreme Court Decision?

Districts that were arming personnel could no longer afford to do so. Therefore, suspended their policy.

What is the effect of Ohio’s other gun legislation?

Federal Gun Free School Zones Act was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in February 1990 as S. 2070 by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and then was incorporated into the Crime Control Act of 1990 that was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.  The “Federal Gun Free School Zones Act” makes it generally unlawful for any person to knowingly possess a functional firearm, within one thousand feet of the property line of any public or private elementary, middle, or high school in our nation.

Unauthorized guns still cannot be carried into schools. It is only by the local School Board’s agreement with the person being authorized to carry a gun into the school whether police, SRO or teacher. Therefore, Ohio’s permitless carry law cannot be used to take a firearm into a school. 

  • What does HB 99 actually do?
    Ohio House Bill 99, which was signed into law on June 13, reduced the current firearm training requirements for school personnel from 700 hours to only 24 hours. This was a bill about necessary training in order to be authorized by a School Board to carry a gun into the school.
  • When did Ohio first have teachers being armed?
    2012: Rock Hill Superintendent Wes Hairston says the district started arming teachers and staff after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Federal Gun Free School Zones Act was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in February 1990 as S. 2070 by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and then was incorporated into the Crime Control Act of 1990 that was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1995 - Amends the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 to prohibit possessing or, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, discharging (or attempting to discharge) a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce (thus providing the jurisdictional basis for regulation under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution) in a school zone.
  • How does Permitless Carry affect guns in schools?
    Unauthorized guns still cannot be carried into schools. It is only by the local School Board’s agreement with the person being authorized to carry a gun into the school whether police, SRO or teacher. The “Federal Gun Free School Zones Act” makes it generally unlawful for any person to knowingly possess a functional firearm, within one thousand feet of the property line of any public or private elementary, middle, or high school in our nation. See 18 U.S.C § 922(q).
  • Is arming school personnel mandatory or a choice?
    While school boards will not be required to arm personnel, they will have to notify parents if they choose to do so. Every school district will make its own decision. Districts that had suspended their programs after the case of Gabbard et al. v Madison Local School District Board of Education, et al. which mandated the same training (700 hours) as peace officers. This made it too expensive for some districts to arm school personnel. These districts are now revisiting the decision and possibly restarting their programs.
  • Do other states arm school personnel?
    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states allow people other than security officers to carry guns on school grounds. A 2018 Gallup poll showed that 73% of teachers opposed the idea.
  • What actually is Ohio Law regarding guns in school safety zones?
    Ohio Law: Referred to R.C. § 2923.122 for the position that Ohio law permits a local board of education to authorize individuals to carry firearms in school safety zones. That statute provides in pertinent part: No person shall knowingly convey, or attempt to convey, a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into a school safety zone. (B) No person shall knowingly possess a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone. *** D)(1) This section does not apply to any of the following: (a) An officer, agent, or employee of this or any other state or the United States, or a law enforcement officer, who is authorized to carry deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance and is acting within the scope of the officer's, agent's, or employee's duties, a security officer employed by a board of education or governing body of a school during the time that the security officer is on duty pursuant to that contract of employment, or any other person who has written authorization from the board of education or governing body of a school to convey deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance into a school safety zone or to possess a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone and who conveys or possesses the deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in accordance with that authorization; This statute closes the loophole for concealed carry permit holders in Ohio. The mere issuance of a CCW does not permit someone to carry a gun on school property. The statute does, however, allow a local board of education to provide “written authorization” to specific individuals to carry weapons on school grounds.
  • What are potential legal claims?
    The authorized firearm is lost. The firearm is stolen. The firearm is accidentally discharged. The firearm is stolen and intentionally discharged by unauthorized person in the school. Student claims he was impliedly threatened by presence of firearm or words of authorized teacher. Teacher expressly threatens use of a firearm. Teacher discharges firearm at a student. Teacher discharges firearm at a co-worker or administrator. Teacher discharges firearm at a perceived threat or intruder. Teacher discharges firearm at a perceived threat but accidentally hits innocent third-party. Teacher gets injured in the course of training or use of a firearm.
FAQ
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