Akron, Beachwood Public Schools will not allow armed teachers following passage of Ohio House Bill 99

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:58 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Akron Public Schools and Beachwood City Schools are the latest districts in Northeast Ohio to announce that teachers will not be permitted to carry firearms in the classroom.

The decision came just weeks after Ohio House Bill 99 was signed into law. The newly-signed law makes it easier for teachers to carry firearms at schools by decreasing the number of required training hours.

Akron school officials, the Akron school board and several labor organizations released a joint statement regarding the decision:

“Schools should be a judgment free environment serving as a safe haven for all children. This is what we seek to provide for the students in our district. We are saddened by the new law that permits the arming of school employees. Let’s be clear, we vehemently disagree that more guns are the answer [or more guns in schools are the answer]. We believe that permitting teachers and staff to be armed with weapons would make our schools less safe and increase the vulnerability of our students and staff. Our district’s focus is on educating students and shining a light on their greatest expectations and dreams. We only do this by ensuring that our schools remain safe and secure.

Following the most recent school shooting in Texas, as a nation and state, we should seek to remain vigilant in resolving the ease with which individuals can access deadly weapons. Law enforcement experts have attested that arming more school staff with guns would do little to nothing to protect themselves and their students from gun violence in an era when assault weapons remain easily accessible.

We, therefore, stand united in calling for common-sense solutions to keep schools safe and opposing arming school staff. We support the board’s resolution and policy changes aimed at keeping our schools safe by refusing to use the option that this new law offers. By doing so, we are keeping our focus on providing the highest quality education to all of our scholars.”

“When many of us made the choice to pursue a career in public education, the notion that we would be expected to literally arm ourselves in defense of students was the farthest thing from our minds,” said Beachwood Federation of Teachers President Pam Ogilvy. “It’s a sobering thought that young people who are considering a life in education now have to factor that into their decision-making process.”

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District also voted this month to ban teachers from carrying guns on campus.

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