COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that he signed House Bill 99, which reduces the state's training requirements for arming teachers in schools.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that teachers had to receive over 700 hours of training, the same amount required for police officers, to go armed in a school. Under House Bill 99, school employees now have to undergo a maximum of 24 hours of state training and eight hours of annual training to go armed in schools.
According to Gov. DeWine, House Bill 99 is an effort to cut down on unnecessary training hours and make the training relevant for teachers.
"We worked closely with members of the legislature and other experts to carefully craft the law to ensure that anyone authorized to carry a gun on school property would have thorough, school-specific training," DeWine said.
School boards can still choose whether or not to arm employees in their districts and can require more than the state maximum of 24 training hours under the new law.
The bill also allocates funding and resources for the Ohio School Safety Center, which would be responsible for training armed school employees.
The Ohio Democratic Party immediately criticized DeWine for signing the bill, which they see as dangerous.
“This is not what Ohioans meant when they called on DeWine to ‘do something’ following the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton," Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters said.
"Ohioans were counting on DeWine to grow a spine and stand up to the gun lobby," she said. "All he did was cash the gun lobby’s campaign checks and do its bidding instead."
According to reporting from Cleveland.com, DeWine had received more contributions from the gun lobby than any other state-based politician since 2010 at $8,500.
DeWine also toted the $4.8 million school safety grants he approved in late May at the press conference. Two schools in the region, the Buckeye Community School in London and in Marion, received grants from this program.