Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign a law on Monday that will lower the number of required training hours for teachers who want to carry firearms.
House Bill 99 reduced the current peace officer training of more than 700 hours down to an initial maximum of 24 hours for all armed school personnel.
“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,” DeWine said in a statement after the bill passed.
The signing is expected to take place on Monday, the day constitutional or permitless carry goes into effect.
Local school boards won’t be required to arm personnel, but they will have to notify parents if they choose to do so. Boards can mandate additional training beyond what’s required in the new state law. And all courses must include first aid training, a history of school shootings and four hours of scenario based training.
Republican state lawmakers say HB 99 was them “doing something” in response to the recent string of mass shootings, particularly the school shooting in Texas where 19 children and two teachers were murdered.
But Democrats say lowering the training for armed school personnel was the wrong response.
“This is not what the people asked for, and I’ve got receipts from moms, dads, people in my community, kids,” Rep. Juanita Brent, D-Cleveland, said when the bill passed the House. “They’re not asking for no guns. They’re asking for background checks.”
Anna Staver is a reporter with the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau. It serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.