Ohio Supreme Court schedules arguments in armed teachers case

By: - December 1, 2020 12:40 am

Photo: Courtesy of the Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled time for the parties in a lawsuit about arming teachers in schools to argue their cases.

The state’s highest court will hear from attorneys representing Butler County’s Madison Local Schools and families who filed to keep the school from instituting a firearms policy for school personnel. Oral arguments, which will be held virtually, are scheduled for Jan. 12.

The case has been with the supreme court since May, and the school district asked that the court speed up their decision to accommodate the new school year, in August.

While the case hasn’t yet been resolved, the high court did say firearms policy could continue as the case is appealed.

Throughout the course of the case, state Attorney General Dave Yost submitted a brief in support of the school’s right to authorize armed personnel, and 17 schools from 11 counties also joined in asking the Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court decision that said state law did not allow boards of education to designate personnel who can carry firearms without the same training as police and security officers.

The Ohio Senate also recently passed a bill that the sponsor says is meant to fix the error made by the courts, and to further lock in Ohio’s law on the rights of school administration, specifically to do with firearms policies. That bill received hours of testimony urging its rejection, and had only two supporters that spoke on its behalf, both from pro-gun lobbyist groups.

The bill passed largely along party lines, but four Republicans voted to reject the measure: State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls; Sen. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard; Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering; and Sen. Nathan J. Manning, R-North Ridgeville.

One Democrat, Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, voted for the bill.

The bill now heads to the Ohio House for consideration. It was introduced on Nov. 19, but has not been assigned to a committee.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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