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Ohio Education Association decries Gov. DeWine’s decision to sign HB 99

[June 13, 2022] The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is disappointed, but not surprised, by Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to sign House Bill 99 Monday given his track record of bowing down to the gun lobby and ignoring the concerns of educators, families, and law enforcement experts throughout his term as governor. House Bill 99 (HB 99) guts training requirements for school staff carrying guns in our classrooms and could lead to further tragedies in our schools and make them less safe.

“Our students and educators need to be in safe environments where they can focus on teaching and learning, not on the threat of having unprepared, woefully undertrained people—regardless of their good intentions—making split-second life-or-death decisions about whether to pull the trigger in a chaotic classroom full of innocent bystanders. It would take hundreds of hours of training and firearms practice to be ready for those situations; Governor DeWine says he’s fine with just 24 hours of instruction,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “It’s absurd.”

OEA members have been clear that they do not want to be in the dual role of educating students and serving as armed security guards. Ohio’s educators should be trusted to do the jobs they’ve gone through years of training to do; instead, they’re being asked to shoulder the burden of potentially shooting one of their own students with just a few days of training.

“DeWine’s decision to sign this dangerous legislation on the same day that Ohio’s new law allowing just about anyone to carry a concealed weapon with zero training takes effect truly shows where his priorities lie,” DiMauro said.

DeWine himself endorsed a plan with approximately 150 hours of training for school personnel who were authorized to carry guns in schools when he was attorney general. As he stated, “It’s not just about can I [armed school staff] shoot a gun. That’s just a small part of it. It’s: Do I have enough training to be able to react so that my training goes into effect, and I don’t end up shooting someone who’s innocent?” (Dayton Daily News, Jan. 28, 2014). “His choice to sign a bill requiring just 24 hours of training now does not reflect any change in the need for rigorous training standards,” DiMauro pointed out. “It just reflects DeWine’s own lowered standards for himself and his unwillingness to stand up for Ohio’s kids.”

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