More than two years after the Ohio Supreme Court threw school safety and justice out the window, and only after another massacre of school children in Uvalde, Texas, the Ohio legislature finally passed a bill allowing schools to enact policy to keep our children safe.
Today, September 12, 2022, Sub H.B. 99 becomes effective.
Unfortunately, that does not mean that the thousands of people who have been trained through the FASTER Saves Lives and other good programs and had previous authorization to carry firearms are protecting our kids today, but we are a significant step closer to that reality.
The law states that, “Not later than ninety days after the effective date of tis section, (today) the director of public safety shall appoint an individual who satisfies the criteria specified in division (B) of section 5502.701.” (Chief mobile training officer)
The law further states that, “Not later than ninety days after the appointment of the chief mobile training officer, the director of public safety shall appoint sixteen regional mobile training officers…”
It’s easy to see that this entire process could legally drag out for another school year. But it won’t.
It is obvious that Governor DeWine has made school safety a priority. He is a long-time and consistent supporter of making our schools and kids safer. It is clear that he has told his people at Department of Public Safety (DPS) that he wants this done, he wants this done now, and he wants this done right. They are not starting the above process today; they started the three months ago when the Governor signed H.B. 99 into law.
DPS still has an enormous amount of work to do. They are creating and spinning up a new entity. Doing it right just as important as doing it quickly. Rest assured; school safety is NOT being slow rolled. DPS is working on these issues and on answers to your many questions. We expect to start seeing some answers soon.
One issue DPS can not address is the requirement for a school board to notify the public that the board has authorized persons to go armed. We understand this requirement causes great concern to those who understand security and/or care about the safety of our school system. This was first inserted into the bill under Chairman Jeff LaRe, and we were unable to have it removed in the Senate version – though no person in the Senate was defending it, and some understand that it runs counter to school safety. We highly recommend that schools and parents contact their State Representative and Senators and ask that this dangerous provision be removed from Ohio law.
We understand that schools continue to be anxious to get back to the level of safety they employed for many years. We recommend that schools planning to reauthorize individuals to carry firearms review their policies and school safety plan. Ensure that those individuals they plan to authorize are continuing to train and maintain their skills in shooting, mindset and trauma care. Ensure there is a trauma team trained and equipped in each building. All staff should be trained in how they can be an asset during a threat of violence, including and active killer event.
No matter where your school is on the safety ladder, volunteers as FASTER Saves Lives are here to help you reach that next rung in making your school safer.
Jim Irvine – President Buckeye Firearms Foundation