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Untrained Teachers with Guns - Senate Bill 317 Testimony

SB317 would permit a local school board to authorize an individual with no training or experience in firearms to carry a loaded firearm into a school in Ohio.  In contrast, police officers and security officers in school are currently required, and would continue to be required, to have completed 737 hours of firearm training under the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy standards.  In other words: SB317 would create two standards – one for police officers and security guards to keep students and teachers safe (727 hours of training) and no training required for teachers, coaches and others to patrol the schools with loaded firearms and endanger the lives of students and teachers.  SB317 is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee tomorrow, July 21 at 9:30 am (Senator Coley is chair), but even if it passes that committee tomorrow, at least the full Senate and the House will need to considerate later.

SB317 would represent a race to the bottom - tossing aside concerns for the safety of students and teachers.  Earlier this year, the American Bar Association concluded that “arming teachers will increase the risk of students being shot, not reduce it.”, April 15, 2020.   In other words, allowing teachers, coaches and volunteers with no training to bring loaded guns into schools would endanger Ohio school children.  

A 2019 report by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and Everytown for Gun Safety states: “The most dangerous idea in the American education system is that arming teachers or school staff is an effective solution to an active shooter incident. Everytown, AFT, and NEA strongly urge, as a matter of student safety, that schools reject attempts to arm teachers and instead focus on proven solutions that intervene to prevent shootings.” , p. 30

There is no Second Amendment issue here.  The U.S. Supreme Court has said, “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on … laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools….”  Heller v. D.C., 554 U.S. 579, 626 (2008).

This is also not a matter for local decision.  The Ohio Constitution provides that the General Assembly - not local school boards – “shall make such provisions” necessary that “will secure a thorough and efficient school system … throughout the state.”  (Article VI, section 2).  

For more information on guns in schools, see, or   For more information on SB317 and its status, please feel free to contact Douglas Rogers, 614-395-4686,, a lawyer and former Upper Arlington resident who moved to Bexley to be closer to his children/grandchildren.

If you are opposed to SB 317, there are a couple of actions you can take:

  • Text OHIO to 64433: the response asks for your address and you will then be directly connected to your senator (you'll hear talking points first).


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