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Parents and teachers oppose House Bill 99, say it limits training for armed teachers

“There’s a number of problems on the bill, obviously we want to keep the schools as safe as they possibly can be for students all throughout Ohio. But this bill actually makes students less safe,” Leland said.

by Maria Durant Thursday, April 15th 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — There was passionate testimony Thursday as parents and school officials argued that a bill making its way through the legislature could put their kids in harm’s way.

The bill focuses on guns in school and who can carry them.

Opponents of House Bill 99 testified in front of the House Justice Committee. There were several people who wanted to speak in front of lawmakers, but only a few were given the opportunity.

Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers said the bill limits the amount of training for teachers who carry guns in school.

“There needs to be oversite. The legislature should consult the Ohio training academy to develop a curriculum. they have the expertise to ensure that armed teachers and staff can properly evaluate and deescalate a situation, rather than shooting first and asking questions later,” she said.

Opponents also said the bill doesn’t make school policies on armed teachers transparent.

Representative David Leland said the bill would arm teachers and staff with no training beyond what’s required for a concealed carry license, which is eight hours. He said the bill falls short on where guns should be stored, how much training should be required and making school gun policies transparent for parents.

“There’s a number of problems on the bill, obviously we want to keep the schools as safe as they possibly can be for students all throughout Ohio. But this bill actually makes students less safe,” Leland said.

Jim Irvine with ‘Faster Saves Lives,’ a training program for educators, disagrees. He said the bill gives local school districts the opportunity to customize their needs.

“Trust our local school boards to make the decisions that’s right for the kids in those schools, understanding Columbus local schools is very different than the suburban schools and is very different than the rural schools,” he said.

Right now, the bill has not been scheduled for a vote.

Read the original article here.

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