DeWine Outlines His Plans To Make Ohio's Schools Safer

Aug 21, 2019

Gov. Mike DeWine says more needs to be done to make sure Ohio’s schools are safe. And he's signed an executive order to immediately put more resources in place.

Gov. DeWine signed an executive order to establish the Ohio School Safety Center. The seven member office will focus on being a safety resource for schools and students throughout Ohio. It will work with the Ohio Department of Public Safety. And it will do the following:

1. Intelligence analysts will scan social media looking for posts that could be threatening in schools. 

2. The center's staff will educate schools and communities on using the safer school tip line, a phone line that takes tips on possible security problems. 

3. It will have a website - saferschools.ohio.gov. That will feature news and schedules for upcoming training.

4. Center staff will review school safety plans and provide technical support for schools that require that assistance.

5. Center staff will establish threat assessment policy for schools. 

6. Center will host an annual summit where school officials and security professionals can share best practices.

7. The center will bring in professionals who will help it be up to date with the most effective school safety protocols available.

DeWine says this school safety center will be a key part of preventing violence in schools.  He urges people who see signs that indicate someone might be dangerous or could kill people to call the tip line so proactive steps can be taken.

Tom Stickrath, the director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, says the school safety center will allow schools, parents, students and community members to have access to a wide range of services, including mental health care. He hopes it will be a model for the rest of the nation.

Gov. DeWine didn't specifically address a recent situation at a school near Sparta. Back in March, two first grade students at Highland Elementary reportedly removed a gun from an unlocked case. A school official, the grandmother of one of those students, was authorized to use that weapon as part of a concealed-carry program to protect the school from gun violence. She was reportedly docked three days worth of pay and is no longer allowed to be part of that program. 

DeWine says there is training for school personnel who carry weapons in schools but it isn't required at this point. Specifics about the training school personnel had in this case are not available at this point.

But DeWine says school resource officers play a worthwhile role and he thinks the legislature could look at putting more of them in schools. 

There are reports that the Dayton mass shooter had problems going back to high school. DeWine says his 17-point plan unveiled after the Dayton mass shooting is comprehensive. He says he believes all of the components of it will work, will protect citizens and will be able to pass the legislature. In recent days, legislative leaders have questioned DeWine's version of a "red flag law," saying they want to make sure the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Ohio citizens are protected. 

Read the news release about Governor DeWine's plans here: https://www.scribd.com/document/422668663/News-Release-Governor-DeWine-Announces-Plans-for-Development-of-Ohio-School-Safety-Center-to-Help