Noticeably absent from Ohio House Bill 99 – the “Let’s Arm Teachers” bill is any clarification on the “rules of engagement” as to when an educator might utilize the handgun that is on their person.
While the majority of the argument centers around the concept of a school shooter, state laws that apply to self-defense outside of a school setting definitely muddy the waters.
First of all, I would never want a teacher to ever be faced with the prospect of having to say “I shot my student”. Such a circumstance of shooting someone is devastating enough for law enforcement officers who spend YEARS training for such a situation and still must deal with the aftermath – both personally and legally – of such an event. One’s life is never the same regardless of whether the shooting is “justified” or not.
Let’s get to it – at what point is an educator who is now “authorized” by Ohio House Bill 99 (should it become law) to discharge their firearm? Now that they will be authorized to brandish a handgun at school, is a teacher allowed to defend themselves or others in the event of a physical assault? It’s not so uncommon anymore for students to physically assault teachers or administrators at school, so at what point could the educator use the handgun?
This legislation sets up a litany of horrendous and unintended consequences for anyone on an educational setting. Once you authorize that educator to carry a handgun in order to “defend themselves and others”, where is the line drawn?
If I have a concealed-carry permit in public and am assaulted by an individual intending to cause me physical harm, am I not permitted to use deadly force to defend myself?
If an authorized educator in a school setting is assaulted by a student – armed or not – who is intending to cause seriously bodily harm, what prohibits the educator from using deadly force to stop the assault?
THIS is a huge reason why I am fiercely against this legislation and why I implore my fellow educators to speak out in opposition, too. It’s not just about me – it’s about protecting all educators from being put in a position that is well out of the perimeter of why we became educators in the first place.
911 call: “I shot my student.”
Do you want yourself or anyone you know to be making that phone call? “Justified” or not?
Contact your state senator and express your opposition to this bill, telling them you do not want legislation that has a sole purpose of arming educators.
Please contact your state senator here: https://www.ohiosenate.gov/senators
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