Chardon parents and local teachers react to House Bill 99

parents weigh in on house bill 99
parents weigh in on house bill 99(WOIO)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT
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CHARDON, Ohio (WOIO) - On February 27th, 2012 a former student of Chardon High School walked through the school doors and shot 6 people, taking the lives of 3.

“My brother was in the school when Chardon had their school shooting, and I graduated from Chardon, so it definitely hit me hard,” said Kelly Childs.

On that unimaginable day in 2012 many teachers put their lives in harm’s way to protect the students from a killer.

Today, teachers are up against the same fight as more and more school shooting threats are being reported.

“The school needs to be the safest place around,” said teacher, Jeff Wensing.

Kelly Childs has two children sitting in classrooms this year, and House Bill 99 has her torn.

" I would say my initial reaction a long time ago, when they said they were going to arm teachers, I was a little hesitant towards that, ” said Childs.

House Bill 99 states that each school district in Ohio will be able to decide if teachers or staff members can have guns in the classroom. It also says that if the school district votes yes, teachers have to at least have 24 hours’ worth of training. That number is down from the initial 700 hours that were required before.

“They’re telling me this is really making them consider what they’re going to do in the future,” said Wensing “They’re considering leaving the profession”.

Jeff Wensing is the Vice President of the Ohio Education Association and was a math teacher for more than 20 years in Parma. Wensing told 19 News he’s spoken to teachers in Chardon and across the state about House Bill 99 and most are hoping their districts don’t vote yes.

“We’re going through a period of time where professions such as being an educator is very stressful, ”said Wensing.

Many parents 19 News spoke with said they needed more information. More details on the training that would take place before feeling good about voicing an opinion.

Those details will be made by each school district as they have the biggest decision to make next, deciding if their teachers will be armed or not.

“If a school district participates in that program it may deter someone from going into that school and doing that act,” said Childs.

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