The rate of students bringing guns to school has sadly become so common that some are even beginning to feel numb to the headlines. However, the flip side where teachers are the ones packing heat alongside lunch is the uncharted territory that may soon be the norm in Ohio thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Under HB99, training teachers and other staff in Ohio who want to carry a firearm on school grounds will only be required to complete 24 hours or less of training compared to the 700 hours originally required. DeWine said of his decision, “Our goal is to continue to help our public and private schools get the tools they need to protect our children,” going on to add, “We have an obligation to do everything we can every single day to try and protect our kids.” In a statement from earlier this month, the Republican politician attempted to make an argument for the practicality of this bill by stating, “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.”
The decision has received major pushback as expected, including from teachers’ unions, Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police and gun safety groups. In a joint statement released on June 3, Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro and Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper both said, “The safety of Ohio’s students and educators is our utmost priority, but we know putting more guns into school buildings in the hands of people who have woefully inadequate training — regardless of their intentions — is dangerous and irresponsible.”
Joining them in frustration is DeWine’s opponent in the upcoming 2022 Ohio governors election, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “Teachers will need 180 hours to renew their teaching license so they can teach your kids,” she made clear during a recent public address, continuing by adding, “but only up to 24 hours of training to carry a gun around them — that is insane.”
She didn’t censor her opinion on DeWine in the least bit either, going to say that “For Mike DeWine, safety is just a campaign talking point. He doesn’t actually give a shit about whether you or your family are safe.” Is she right? Sound off with your opinions!
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