2573RE: Ohio House Bill 178
- Mar 24, 2014
One other point of interest to the teachers….One of those who spoke on HB 8 was a representative of the teachers union ( I cannot remember his name ). In speaking on behalf of the teachers he was adamant that if a school allowed someone to carry a gun it MUST be a subject of collective bargaining. He was also adamant that the names and positions of everyone carrying a gun MUST be made public and all the parents must be notified of exactly who is carrying. The debate over requiring schools to publish these names went on for 45 minutes or more. He never said whether the union was for or against the Bill. He just kept arguing the it was a subject of collective bargaining and it be made public.
I was a little shocked at his argument, as were the members of the committee. One committee member even commented that this had been an issue in her district in northern Ohio when a newspaper printed the name of an employee they had authorized to carry. She said the newspaper went so far as to find the employee on Facebook, pull off his picture, and then publish it along with the story of him having a gun in the school. After the article ran he began receiving threats and had to be transferred. I have not seen a copy of the HB 8 after it passed the House but it was supposed to exempt this information from public record. I’ve spoken to a lot of teachers since hearing this testimony and have not found one who agrees with requiring the information to be made public.
Ron....great news on HB178. Agreed....it is not what you originally proposed but it is a good step in the right direction.
I respectfully disagree w/ Jason's position on HB 8 regarding the arming of staff. I have a different perspective on this issue b/c I'm fortunate to work with both public entities (local governmental agencies) and local schools in an insurance role here in Ohio. HB 8 further clarifies the immunities already granted to local schools as political subdivisions. It also requires the Attorney General to develop minimum training standards for the arming of school staff. I can share that I am a graduate of the FASTER program (Tactical Defense Institute program - 26 hours) and combined with my experience working w/ local police and their training requirements and what they actually do, I can tell you without a doubt that the FASTER program and others like it should be the minimum standard for any school wis hing to authorize armed staff. I know of many, many police depts that only shoot once a year as required by OPOTA. Those standards have gone down over the past few yrs all b/c of budgets.
I believe there is a huge misconception about the level of training our police officers receive where firearms is concerned. If you don't know this already, please understand that a police officer receives only approx. 40 hours of firearms training as part of their basic training to be a certified officer here in Ohio and then they are only required to complete one qualification every year which consists of only 25 rounds (rounds actually fired) and that equates to about 8 hours a year. HB 8 tasks the AG's office with setting minimum training standards for armed school staff. The AG's office is considering (last I read) a 200 hr requirement as part of the minimum training for arming staff and I have a huge issue with that b/c our police officers don't get that much training as I've just highlighted. If you go through the FASTER program and continue to practice and re-qualify on an annual basis, that person has quite a bit of train ing. I had a SWAT training officer (who is knows the FASTER program) recently share a comment with me that the person completing the FASTER program is probably better trained than the average police officer, based on his career experience when comparing patrol officer training, FASTER, and SWAT training. Another important characteristic to point out...this training is specific to the active shooter environment. Nothing else. Police officers have to train on many, many other subjects and techniques.....FASTER only focuses on 1 subject, 1 task. Actually, if you qualify/pass the FASTER program, you shoot to a higher standard than what is required of every police officer in Ohio.
Here's another important point I ask you to consider......by denying HB 8, you take away tools that benefit everyone - whether or not you use them or want to use them. Is arming school staff appropriate for every school in Ohio? No, it isn't. But for several, it is a viable option and if you take those tools away (for whatever reason) you hinder everyone and put that many more lives at risk. We are all ALICE instructors here.....and this program is another tool in the tool box for school safety, correct? So, what if HB 8 was prohibiting the ALICE program....we'd all be livid b/c we know and understand the difference that it makes VS typical lockdown....right? HB 8 actually will benefit schools who wish to arm their staff by implementing minimum training standards....whatever the AG comes up with....it will be better than no requirement at all which is what we have today. Just like HB 178.....it is better than what we hav e today.
Another little known fact about police coverage in Ohio.....with shrinking budgets, many rural counties and police depts are lucky to have 1 maybe 2 officer/deputy on duty during the day. I know of 2 counties that only have 1 deputy on patrol during a shift. If you live in an urban area and have a police dept. with several officers....count your blessings b/c it isn't that way for most rural areas in the state and that is why we need to give schools all the tools available to them and let them decide for themselves what tools they want to take of of the tool box and use for their situation.
I have schools in some rural counties that have an average of a 20 minute police response (for example, I work with a county in southern Ohio...both the County and several schools in this county are clients). The Sheriff supports the arming of staff and has offered his dept. training sessions to those schools and school staff who have been authorized to carry. There is at least 1 school in this county that has authorized the arming of their staff and the staff has been through the FASTER program in 2013. They are doing this because it makes sense in their situation...they have a 15 minute minimum response (including the sheriff, State Patrol, & local PDs). We all know that TIME is the 2nd enemy in these shooting incidents and we all know the national averages and stats. Think about the Arapaho HS, Colorado incident in the fall of 2013....it was over in less than 2 minutes b/c they had an armed police officer on the campus who was closing in on th e shooter. The shooter ended it b/c of the armed response. Again....an urban area with a great police presence. What would it have looked like without the police officer there?
Don't get me wrong...I am not bashing our police officers....I respect everyone of them for the job they do & putting their lives on the line for us....BUT, reality is much more like I've shared above and they simply can't be everywhere.
I truly wish we could put a police officer in every school....I really do. But that isn't reality and we all know this. So, where it makes sense, allow the schools to do what best fits their needs, situations, and capabilities.
Speaking of tools, have you seen the NaviGate Prepared software? If not, please take a look at it. It is really nice. This takes the "I" of "inform" from ALICE and uses technology to further enhance school safety and assist with the response of safety forces by using real time data, building floor plans, and remote video access to aid in the response to an emergency situation. Good stuff....and its affordable too! (No, I'm not paid for endorsing the product, LOL).
Thanks you for your time and consideration.
On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM, Jason Scherer <jasonscherer34@...> wrote:
House Bill 178 sounds great. We can at least treat the lockdown drill as an enhanced lockdown drill and have the teachers and students practice barricading so that all the drills are related to ALICE.
This bill is a lot better than HB8 that allows teachers/school employees to carry guns in the school if approved by the board of education.
They have no idea what training will be required but they think they will just make you have a CCL. That training is a joke and a smack in the face of police officers and the training that they do everyday for the safety of our students.
I told them how they should be talking about providing teachers/students with options other than sitting in a corner and waiting for police and having teachers carry a gun doesn't need to be one of them.
I was in Columbus on Wednesday and spoke to my Senators and Representatives against HB8.
I will call them about supporting HB178.
Field Local Schools
Alice Trained Teacher
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On Mar 22, 2014, at 5:29 PM, Ron Brooks <rbrooks@...> wrote:
He is the link to HB 178 as passed by the House. In the original bill we asked for 4 safety drills a year and five fire drills. That was changed to read six fire drills and three safety drills. In addition to the three safety drills the schools are required, under the new bill, to perform a tabletop exercise and one of the three “safety” drills is required to be a lockdown only drill.
So far it looks like we ended up with tow drills a year that go along with our ALICE training but I think we can make it work. It’s still better than what we had.
Thanks for everyone’s help. Now we need to start pushing the Senators.
What does HB178 contain?
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On Mar 22, 2014, at 11:44 AM, Ron Brooks <rbrooks@...> wrote:
I just wanted everyone to know that I received word on Thursday that HB 178, the School Safety bill we’ve been pushing for finally passed the house 98-0. The bill now moves to the Senate.
The current bill is watered down some from what we originally wanted but it’s a step in the right direction.
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