COLUMBUS — December 10, 2013 — Delegates at the Ohio Education Association Fall Representative Assembly voted overwhelmingly this past weekend to adopt a new legislative policy stating that teachers and other school employees should not be asked to serve a dual role as educators and school safety personnel armed with weapons. This position is consistent with the views of the law enforcement community that putting guns in the hands of school employees who have other responsibilities is not the solution to improving school safety.
“As state lawmakers and local school boards consider ways in which schools can be made safer,” said Ohio Education Association President Becky Higgins, “we urge them to make sure there is adequate funding for school districts that may want to have resource officers or local law enforcement in their schools. That’s a much better way to go than arming school employees.”
The school safety policy adopted by the OEA also urges that appropriate assistance be provided for mental health services for students as part of a comprehensive program to prevent school violence.
In an informal survey, some 70% of the delegates at the OEA Representative Assembly reported that they were not being consulted by their local school districts in the development of school safety plans.
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The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
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