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Bill Sponsor Open To Hearing Concerns About Armed Teacher Training

guns on display in a gun store
Seth Perlman
Associated Press

More than 130 people have voiced their opposition to a bill that would establish a required baseline of training if school districts want to allow teachers and other workers to carry a gun in schools. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Middletown) says he's currently listening to and reading through those concerns.

The bill, HB99, says school districts must require teachers to complete the eight hours of training needed to carry a concealed weapon before allowing them to have a weapon at school. The final decision whether teachers and staff can have a firearm and if additional training is necessary would be up to district leaders.

Hall says just the knowledge that teachers might be armed can reduce possible violence.

"That presence of a teacher being able to protect the students and protect the staff I think that, again, doesn't eliminate but I think it lowers the possibility of that happening," Hall, whose father was the school resource officer during the 2016 shooting at Madison High School in Butler County, said.

Opponents argue that eight hours is not enough training. Some have said that more training is needed to identify and deescalate a dangerous scenario while others have said having guns in the classroom can make a situation less safe.

Lawmakers are currently considering potential amendments to the bill. Hall says he's open to having further discussions with interested parties to address concerns.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.