House Bill 99 becomes law arming teachers in schools; Local districts start planning

MIAMI VALLEY — Four districts in our area are taking advantage of a new law to try and protect their students and staff.

All districts have the same goal — keep students and staff safe if an intruder gets in the building.

Bob Humble, Sidney City School’s superintendent said his district has been preparing for this for years.

In 2014 the district created an active shooter response team.

In 2021 the Ohio Supreme Court said school employees need to have 20 years of law enforcement experience or over 700 hours of training to carry while on duty.

House Bill 99 passed this spring lowered that requirement to 24 hours.

>> DeWine signs House Bill 99 into law; Schools permitted to arm staff with reduced training

“With it back in effect now, we know that we’re almost positive that the training that we get from the sheriff is going to be approved as one of those trainings that can grandfather in our teams that are already in place,” Humble said.

Mad River Local Schools also had to pause its team because of the Supreme Court ruling.

Superintendent Chad Wyen said about 30 people have already started training.

The district is just waiting for the Ohio School Safety Center to ok its requirements which includes 20 hours of training.

Those 20 hours include training with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, “FASTER saves lives” program, tourniquet education and shooting range practice.

Plus drills with the sheriff’s office.

“A lot of it’s just building relationships with our first responders, because if we do have an active shooter event, we have to be able to work together and collaboratively to stop the event,” Wyen said.

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

In July, News Center 7 reported Benjamin Logan Local School district’s board approved training an armed response team.

Monday, Superintendent John Scheu said the district is also waiting for the state to come out with curriculum before the board will vote on activate the 22 person team.

“The armed response team, if it is approved by the school board, we believe will be an extra layer of protection for innocent kids and teachers,” Scheu said.

Benjamin Logan Local is the only district considering having staff carry guns.

The others plan to secure them in the building including the newest to the list Bellbrook-Sugarcreek.

Last week the board passed a resolution to create an active shooter response team.

News Center 7 has reached out to the Ohio Safety Center to see when we can expect that curriculum districts area waiting on.