STREETSBORO, Ohio — Seven months after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill allowing schools in the state to arm staff members (including teachers), one Northeast Ohio school district has chosen to take advantage of the new regulations.
The Streetsboro Board of Education has approved a program allowing certain employees to volunteer to carry guns while on school property "in order to complement an active response from law enforcement in the event of an emergency involving an active threat." The resolution revives the district's "Proactive Response Team" that existed from 2017-21.
Under the program, those on the response team will undergo hours of training and drills to prepare them for events such as school shootings. While volunteers are not identified due to state protocols, Superintendent R. Michael Daulbaugh says teachers have never been among those carrying weapons, and also told the Record-Courier there are no plans for that to change.
"Streetsboro’s program members have always been selected from volunteers who are non-instructional staff," Dahlbaugh said in a statement. "Members of the Proactive Response Team who are so authorized by the Board carry firearms and associated equipment during the day while performing their normal responsibilities and duties."
Streetsboro's original response team stopped carrying firearms in 2021 when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that such programs were prohibited by state law unless those involved underwent hundreds of hours of training. That changed last year when DeWine signed off on House Bill 99, which permitted all educational employees to be armed provided they participated in only 24 hours of training (along with eight hours more each year).
Gun control advocates and even some law enforcement groups blasted the legislation, but the governor has stressed the provisions are fully optional and that his personal preference is for schools to employ members of law enforcement as resource officers. Several districts have chosen to opt out, including Cleveland and Akron.
Daulbaugh did not specify when Streetsboro's Proactive Response Team will again begin carrying firearms.