Ohio concealed-carry for teachers advances

Opponents object to provisions to take the issue off collective bargaining table, question wisdom of arming teachers in classrooms.
MCT Regional News
Jan 24, 2014

School districts that designate teachers and other personnel to carry hidden firearms must undergo pretraining and a psychological assessment after the fact if they use the weapon under a bill that passed the House with bipartisan support Wednesday.

But opponents objected to provisions to take the issue off the collective bargaining table and questioned the wisdom of arming teachers in classrooms.

“[House Bill 8] does not arm employees,” the bill’s chief sponsor, Kristina Roegner (R., Hudson), said. “Current law allows that to happen.”

The bill would add off-duty law officers to those exempted from a ban on carrying a concealed firearm in school safety zones. It would grant school boards and the gun-carrying employee immunity from a civil lawsuit in the event the weapon causes harm, as long as the employee was not negligent. The bill goes to the Senate.

Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo), a military vet and former school teacher, tried unsuccessfully to remove the provision exempting the issue from contract talks. She questioned whether it could lead to an armed teacher inadvertently being shot when a law officer responds to a report of an active school shooter. “Who’s going to know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy?”

The bill responds to school shootings such as that in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 and in Chardon, Ohio, nearly two years ago, raising the question of whether more guns should be in schools for self-protection. Some districts have hired armed guards; others designate people to carry concealed firearms on school property. Others, however, have resisted guns in school. “This is playing Russian roulette with the life of a child,” said Rep. Matt Lundy (D., Elyria). “When the bullets start to fly, there’s no guarantee the bullets will hit the bad guy. Sometimes we tend to think this is the movies, but this, folks, is real life.”

Some Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which passed 63-29.

Voting “yes” among area lawmakers: Reps. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township), Tim Brown (R., Bowling Green), Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon), Robert Sprague (R., Findlay), Rex Damschroder (R., Fremont), Tony Burkley (R., Payne), Matt Huffman (R., Lima), and Jeff McClain (R., Upper Sandusky).

All four area Democrats opposed it: Reps. Fedor, Michael Ashford (D., Toledo), Mike Sheehy (D., Oregon), and Chris Redfern (D., Catawba Island).

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By Jim Provance - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

voicetress

Do you think a student would think twice before entering a school to kill if they knew 25-30 school officials were packing armor to take them out? I think so. And lets not worry about the police not knowing who the bad guy is. I'm sure the school systems and local police departments don't consider this a game of shoot then ask questions. I don't like the idea of a bunch of guns hiding around the school in case of student or parent gone wild but lets get real here. What options do they have but to sit back and watch kids die until the police can be called, evaluate, assess, then enter to get to the shooter. I think with the right training teachers could be well equipped and ready to handle a bad situation until help arrives.

JACKEL

Good God no teachers with guns.Bad enough some of them even teach .Put in more security at the entrance.

ladydye_5

People won't pass a levy to pay for teachers you think they will pass one to pay for security?

Really are you ...

Almost like sending kids to military school. All you would need is a teacher to put their weapon in their desk, and you can figure out the rest of the story. Or how about parents are limited in disciplining their kids, but teachers can pack heat.

scooter58

From all I've seen, teachers at military schools aren't armed any more than teachers at public schools, so that line of thought is probably moot. If teachers HAD a need to disarm for some reason, I am sure they would have some place secure to put their weapon, not just carelessly toss it in a drawer. I don't believe that very many who got licensed for concealed carry would carelessly leave weapons unattended. Next, parents, for the most part, can already carry weapons around the home without a license, concealed or otherwise. I don't see too many stories about parents using guns for disciplinary purposes, so why would you expect that teachers might? Through the day, a teacher can be responsible for the safety of ten times or more children than a parent is. Why should they be prohibited from protecting them if they are willing and able? Electronic security at the entrance doesn't stop weapons from coming in, it only alerts you if they DO. It also doesn't stop someone who bypasses or ignores it. The last line of defense is the person who is in the room with the students and has the will and the ability to stop an assailant. I say, if they are willing, check out, and are properly trained, support 'em!