School shootings cannot be stopped with more guns

Bradyn Johnson | The Chronicle

Ohio teachers are now allowed to carry firearms on school grounds.

On June 13, 2022, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine signed House Bill 99, allowing teachers to carry firearms on school property. The bill requires teachers to receive only 24 hours of training instead of the previously mandatory 700 hours and complete a yearly criminal background check.

Fortunately, the law gives local school boards the choice to choose whether they would want to implement this law. I believe it is morally wrong for staff to carry firearms in schools as it could create an uneasy environment, especially knowing that all teachers would be walking around with less than 50 hours of training or guidance. This particular law decreases the amount of training by a total of 676 hours. 

The thought of sitting in class, knowing that my teacher has a firearm somewhere in the room makes me feel very uncomfortable, especially because of their severe lack of training.

At any moment a teacher could turn their back and a student could grab the firearm as a joke, and use it to harm themselves or others. Ultimately, the passing of the bill could present more issues rather than create solutions.

In Ohio, 15-year-old teenagers are required to drive a car for 50 hours before receiving their license, which includes 10 hours of night driving.

It is clearly unethical for teachers to receive only 24 hours of training, while teenagers must complete double the number of hours to attain their driver’s license. The purpose of driving is for easier transportation, but it comes at an enormous safety risk. There should be similar logic that goes into teachers carrying guns in schools as well. Because it is so risky to have staff members carrying around guns while at school, there should be ample training that takes place before a teacher should be armed.

Without the proper training, both driving and handling firearms could put other people’s lives at risk. In all honesty, I believe that both activities should require more training.

As school shootings become more prevalent within our nation, it is understandable that lawmakers would want to implement stricter action in school districts, however, there could be better ways to go about it. For instance, the state legislature could pass a law that makes self-defense classes a part of standard staff training. This plan of action would hopefully decrease teachers’ stress and anxiety over the possibilities of a school threat, making them feel more comfortable with their ability to fight and protect their students.

As for the Mason City School district, Superintendent Jonathan Cooper said in a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer that he does not recommend the board to allow teachers to carry guns at school.

While the bill continues to leave the option up to local school boards, it is important to acknowledge that requiring each staff member to carry firearms is not the only option to ensure both student and staff safety.