State Supreme Court decides Ohio teachers and school staff must be trained before carrying guns

Ohio

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of parents who are against arming teachers and school employees took their case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Following a 2016 shooting at Madison Junior/Senior High School in Ohio, the school board there adopted a resolution that would allow some designated employees to carry a gun into the building “for the welfare and safety of [its] students,” according to court documents.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the resolution goes against Ohio law.

Following several school shootings across the U.S., 30 states introduced legislation related to arming teachers or other school staff. Of those 30 states, seven passed legislation.

Ohio was not one of them, but Governor Mike DeWine stated in a letter to the chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association that “Ohio law does not prevent a local school board from arming an employee unless that employee’s duties rise to the level that he/she would be considered ‘security personnel.'”

The distinction matters because if that employee is expected to perform any type of security, they would have to, by state law, have specific training or experience such as peace officer training.

While the Madison School Board did adopt regulatory guidelines in their resolution requiring designated employees to undergo several training programs and have a concealed carry permit, none satisfied the training or experience outlined in Ohio law, according to court documents.

A lower court ruled Ohio law only applied to peace officers and those employed in a security capacity and not to teachers or employees who were designated to carry a firearm, however, the Ohio Supreme Court overturned that decision in its recent ruling.

The judicial panel wrote Ohio law does not provide schools with a mechanism to circumvent the requirement that employees who carry firearms should have peace officer training or 20 years of experience as a peace officer.

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