COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that the Ohio School Safety Center has finalized state training requirements for school staff members authorized by their districts to be armed on school grounds.
The OSSC’s Armed School Staff Essential Training curriculum was developed to meet the requirements outlined in House Bill 99, which was sponsored by Representative Tom Hall (R-Madison Township) and Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) and signed by DeWine in June. The legislation permits Ohio school boards and governing bodies to opt to arm specific staff members who complete training on the curriculum developed by OSSC.
“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent violence and avoid tragedies in our schools,” DeWine said. “For districts that choose to arm a school staff member, this training will ensure that those individuals are thoroughly prepared to respond to emergencies specific to a school environment.”
At DeWine’s direction, the new ASSET curriculum includes 24 hours of initial training and 8 hours of annual recertification training, the maximum number of hours permitted by law. The curriculum defines the subjects that instructors must cover, the amount of time spent on each topic and the learning objectives that those taking the training must meet.
Both the initial and recertification training include:
- Scenario-based training
- Instruction on mitigation techniques
- De-escalation techniques
- Tactics for responding to critical incidents
- Neutralization of potential threats and active shooters
- Tactical live firearm training
Other modules include accountability, reunification, psychology of critical incidents, crisis intervention, trauma and first aid care, history/pattern of school shootings and realistic urban training.
Development of additional curriculum is underway for districts that choose to require more training than what is mandated by the state.
Mobile training officers with OSSC’s Safety and Crisis Division will begin offering the ASSET training in 2023, but schools also have the option to select an alternate training provider whose training courses meet the requirements of the new OSSC curriculum.
Schools can find more information on how to sign up for state training or training offered by an alternate entity at OSSC’s website.
The option to arm trained staff members in schools is a school safety measure that builds on other initiatives developed by the DeWine-Husted Administration. Those other measures include the development of the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019, which was formed to help monitor and recognize threats, as well as extra funding for security upgrades for Ohio schools and expanded mental and behavioral health services.