Hall Champions Historic School Safety Bill
COLUMBUS - State Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) spearheaded and sponsored House Bill 99, which is a reformative school safety bill that establishes the Ohio School Safety Center and the Ohio Mobile Training Team under the Department of Public Safety. The bill also allows school boards to authorize individuals that have completed the required training to be armed within a school.
The General Assembly approved the measure on Wednesday and Hall spoke to it on the House floor.
“Since I introduced this bill last year, it has always been about protecting both students and staff at our schools across this state,” said Hall. “School safety has always been my priority. In emergency situations at our schools, seconds matter and tragedies can be prevented - in my district, we saw it firsthand.”
Hall originally introduced the bill after his father, as serving as Madison High School resource officer, chased a shooter from the school back in 2016.
In an aim to protect the children and staff of Ohio families at schools across the state, the legislation creates the Ohio School Safety Center that will:
- Be operated by the Ohio Mobile Training Team. The team will consist of one chief mobile training officer and 16 regional officers that will be assigned to geographic locations around the state. The officers must be peace officers or veterans;
- Help schools develop and implement emergency management plans and assist schools with security;
- Create a training curriculum for school personnel that wish to carry firearms in school safety zones when authorized by the board;
- The training must consist of 24 hours of initial instruction, followed by 8 annual hours, and include topics such as mitigation techniques;
- School boards may require more training if they choose. School boards may also develop their own training plans that are submitted to DPS for approval;
- School personnel that are armed will get an annual criminal background check; and
- School boards must inform parents, by whatever way the board normally communicates with the public, if school personnel are authorized to be armed.
“Seconds matter and school safety is a last line of defense for our children and House Bill 99 is all about enhancing school safety,” Hall added.
The bill now heads to the governor for consideration.