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'This is the most insane thing ever' | Ohio House passes bill that would allow teachers, staff to be armed

While Regina Fuentes with the Columbus Education is against the bill, Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association says it adds an extra layer of security.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio House passed House Bill 99 Wednesday. It's a bill that will allow school employees who complete specific training to carry a handgun on school grounds.

Many people can agree that schools need more safety measures in place.

We spoke with Regina Fuentes, a teacher at Eastmoor High School and spokesperson for Columbus Education Association.

"I honestly think this is the most insane thing ever,” she said.

HB-99 would require school employees that do carry a gun to have up to 24 hours of initial training and eight hours of prequalification training annually. Training must also include how to stop an active shooter and de-escalate a violent situation.

According to the bill, training must also include trauma and first-aid care, at least four hours in scenario-based or simulated training exercises and tactical live firearms training.

"We need to make sure that we have proper counseling, guidance counselors, the nurses. We need to have those things ready so we have all the supports ready for the students, so they never reach the level of needing to even consider or think about a weapon,” Fuentes said.

However, Rob Sexton with Buckeye Firearms Association said the bill will add an extra layer of safety for Ohio schools.

"We've just been very concerned about something tragic happening like what just happened in Texas. I think it gives school districts options if they want to take them,” Sexton said. "Every second counts in terms of saving lives. So, while they're waiting for the police to arrive, this gives schools an option to protect kids.”

Sexton and Fuentes do agree that schools need to be safer.

Fuentes said that means more common-sense gun control, while Sexton believes HB-99 is doing something about gun violence.

Governor Mike DeWine sent a statement to 10TV Wednesday night saying, "Last week I called on the General Assembly to pass a bill that would allow local school districts, if they so chose, to designate armed staff for school security and safety. My office worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training. House Bill 99 accomplishes these goals, and I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers. I look forward to signing this important legislation."

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