FLASH: Ohio Supreme Court allows Madison schools to arm staff while appeal pending

The Ohio Supreme Court has voted to allow Madison schools to arm school staff when students return, even as they prepare to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling against the practice.

Current state law allows school boards to make decisions about the security in their schools. However, a lawsuit involving Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety sought to prevent Madison Local School District from arming staff. The district initially received a favorable ruling, but an appeals court overturned it. The result is that employees carrying firearms in schools would be required to complete more than 700 hours of peace officer training, most of which is irrelevant to stopping active killers.

Today's Supreme Court ruling stays the lower court's decision.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

In 2018, the district voted to allow staff to be armed – over the objection of one of the students shot a few years earlier. A group of parents later sued the district to stop that. They argued the staff didn't complete anywhere near the amount of training they should have.

In March, an appeals court sided with the parents and ruled the district didn't follow the law when implementing its program to arm teachers. The court ordered the district to halt its program, unless more rigorous training was completed.


Madison officials appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to review the case in June. District officials then asked the court to allow them to continue arming staff while the appeal is pending.

On Wednesday, the court ruled in the district's favor. Both sides will be required to file briefs outlining their positions. It could be several months before a final decision is made.

In 2018, Madison Local School District in Middletown, Ohio, joined school districts across the state by implementing a comprehensive safety program that included an armed response team inside schools. Team members had gone through Buckeye Firearms Foundation's FASTER Saves Lives program, consisting of a highly focused 26-hour course dealing exclusively with armed response, crisis management, and emergency medical aid. This is more active killer training than most Ohio officers have when graduating from the police academy.

Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Additional Information:

BFA Testifies in Favor of SB 317 to Exempt School Employees from Peace Officer Training

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