Dayton school board rejects Ohio school safety bill, will not arm teachers or district employees

DAYTON — The Dayton school board on Tuesday evening voted unanimously to object to Ohio House Bill 99, which reduces the training requirements for school district employees to go armed into school buildings.

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“Dayton Public Schools will be safer because of this resolution,” board member Jocelyn Spencer Rhynard said in remarks before the unanimous vote. “I hope more school districts follow the lead.”

HB 99,called the school safety bill, reduces the training requirement for district employees, including teachers, who are not employed as special police officers or security officers, who a board of education authorizes to go armed with firearms, from more than 600 hours of training to 24 hours of initial instruction and 8 hours of annual requalification training.

The Dayton Public Schools Board of Education, in its resolution, said it “believes the presence of firearms would create a dangerous environment in our schools, and threaten the lives and safety of students and staff.”

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The board “believes that teachers and other educators in our schools, who educate, mentor and nurture their students should not be asked to arm themselves with deadly weapons in a misguided attempt to make their students safer.”

The board will not exercise its authority under HB 99 to authorize any of its teachers or other employees, to convey or possess any deadly weapons, including firearms in any of its school buildings or on any school property under the board’s control, the organization said in the resolution.

Board members said the resolution has the support of the Dayton Education Association; DPSU Operations Local 101, AFSCME Ohio Council 8; DPSU School Resource Officers Local 101, AFSCME Ohio Council 8; OAPSE Transportation Local 627; OAPSE Clericals Local 158; OAPSE Paraprofessionals Local 643; OAPSE Psychologists Local 766B; OAPSE Interpreters Local 766; OAPSE Local 191 (MH/OT/PT Aides); OAPSE Mechanics Local 156; and the Dayton Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO.