Breaking News
More () »

'It is optional': Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine sends letter to superintendents statewide after signing bill that permits school employees to carry guns

'I signed this bill because we know some schools want to do this and know that each school situation is different,' he writes in the letter.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: Video in the player at the top of this story was originally published in a previous article on June 15, 2022.

Just a few days after signing House Bill 99, which would permit school employees to be armed in their building, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has sent a letter to superintendents “to provide information on the recent changes to Ohio law and to raise awareness about school safety services and resources offered by the state.”

"House Bill 99, which I signed this week, addresses the option of arming school staff,” the letter from Gov. DeWine declares. “Arming school personnel is a serious decision that is left up entirely to your school. It is optional. It is one of many tools that you can choose based on your unique school situation. Other tools, such as a school safety officer, may serve your school better. I signed this bill because we know some schools want to do this and know that each school situation is different. I did not want to deny schools this option and wanted to make sure that if a school chooses this option that all training hours are directly relevant to situations that could occur in schools. However, I have made it clear that, in my opinion, the much preferred option is to have a school resource officer in each school building."

You can read the full letter from Gov. DeWine at the bottom of this story.

Editor's note: Video in the player above features Gov. DeWine discussing the topic of arming teachers in school after he signed House Bill 99 on June 13, 2022.

SUBSCRIBE: Get the day's top headlines sent to your inbox each weekday morning with the free 3News to GO! newsletter

Some districts – including Cleveland Metropolitan Schools – have already decided against arming school employees.

"We know this is the right thing to do," CMSD Board Chair Anne Bingham said following the vote during Tuesday's work session. "I can't imagine what the (Ohio) legislature is thinking."

As we previously reported, the law requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can go armed, and up to eight hours of annual training. The training programs must be approved by the Ohio School Safety Center.


Before You Leave, Check This Out