COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio school districts may begin arming staff as soon as it falls under a bill signed Monday by Republican Gov. Mike Devine.
The law requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can become armed, and up to eight hours of annual training. Training programs must be approved by the Ohio School Security Center, and DeWine has announced that it orders the center to require a maximum of 24 hours and a maximum of eight hours.
Schools can provide additional training if they wish, Devine said.
Before announcing the signing of the bill, the governor outlined several other school security measures he and lawmakers were promoting, including $ 100 million to improve school security in schools and $ 5 million to increase security in colleges.
The state is also adding 28 employees to the school security center to work with the districts on security issues and training under the new law. Ohio has also allocated $ 1.2 billion to health schools to address mental health and other issues, the governor said.
The new law “gives schools the opportunity to make the best decision based on the best information they have,” Devine said.
The governor said he prefers school districts to hire armed school resource officers, but said the law is another tool for districts that want to protect children. He stressed that it is not necessary, not necessary.
The mayors of Ohio’s largest cities, including Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, have scheduled an afternoon press conference to highlight gun violence in their communities and outline their differences with the governor over gun issues. Nan Weiley, a Democratic opponent of DeWain as governor, also scheduled a press conference after condemning his decision to sign the bill.
The signing took place on the same day as the new law came into force, making the permit for concealed weapons optional for those legally entitled to bear arms.
Democrats said the law was sending the wrong message that came so soon after the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uwald, Texas. Republicans say the measure could prevent such shootings. Lawmakers have accelerated legislation to counter the impact of a court ruling that would require hundreds of hours of training for armed schoolchildren under current law.
Major law enforcement groups, proponents of gun control and state teachers’ unions oppose the move. This is supported by several police departments and school districts.
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