Aug 15, 2022 - News

Most Central Ohio districts won't arm teachers

Illustration of bullets and crayons in a crayon box.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

School employees can carry guns with minimal training when a new state law takes effect next month, though Columbus and most Central Ohio districts tell Axios they won't allow it.

Details: In the past, school resource officers were typically the only employees who carried weapons ā€” after completing 700 hours of required training.

  • Now districts can authorize any staff member to carry after 24 hours of training, just a few of which involve hands-on weapons exercises.
  • A school board must notify families "by whatever means it regularly communicates with the public" if it allows for armed employees, per the law.

Between the lines: This district-by-district approach could make it difficult to track which ones are allowing weapons in schools.

  • The Ohio Department of Public Safety will keep a private list of armed staff members, but is not committing to reporting even a redacted list of participating school districts.
  • "Should a list exist in the future, DPS will evaluate record requests at that time," department spokesperson Jay Carey told us.
Other school-related legislation

State of play: Arming teachers is not the only change coming to Ohio schools this year. Other changes enacted by state lawmakers include:

What we're watching: These proposed bills remain pending in the Ohio Statehouse:

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