Ohio House Bill 99 Leads to Added Emphasis

APS Modifies Policies Concerning Weapons
Posted on 06/29/2022
Image of APS LogoAkron Public Schools, its board and several of its labor organizations have endorsed and signed off on this joint statement.

The board -- at last night's meeting -- modified three policies that highlight and address concerns with recently approved Ohio H.B. 99. Akron Public Schools already had strong policies regarding the carrying of weapons onto school property. These changes further strengthen the commitment.

This statement has been issued jointly, by:
Lorene Wise, President, OAPSE LOCAL 689
Omar Jimenez, Northeast Ohio organizer, SEIU Local 1
Rhonda Ferguson, AACP president
Pat Shipe, AEA president
Christine Fowler Mack, superintendent
N.J. Akbar, Ph.D., APS board president, and the entire board of education

Schools should be a judgment-free environment serving as a safe haven for all children. This is what we seek to provide for the students in our district. We are saddened by the new law that permits the arming of school employees. Let's be clear, we vehemently disagree that more guns are the answer [or more guns in schools are the answer]. We believe that permitting teachers and staff to be armed with weapons would make our schools less safe and increase the vulnerability of our students and staff. Our district's focus is on educating students and shining a light on their greatest expectations and dreams. We only do this by ensuring that our schools remain safe and secure.

Following the most recent school shooting in Texas, as a nation and state, we should seek to remain vigilant in resolving the ease with which individuals can access deadly weapons. Law enforcement experts have attested that arming more school staff with guns would do little to nothing to protect themselves and their students from gun violence in an era when assault weapons remain easily accessible.

We, therefore, stand united in calling for common-sense solutions to keep schools safe and opposing arming school staff. We support the board's resolution and policy changes aimed at keeping our schools safe by refusing to use the option that this new law offers. By doing so, we are keeping our focus on providing the highest quality education to all of our scholars.
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