Vanity Fair: Ohio Law to Allow Armed Teachers Is ‘Batsh*t Crazy’

Robert (last name not given), who is a principal at a K-12 school near Golden, Colorado, participates in a "Quick Peek" drill during the FASTER Level 2 two day firearms course at Flatrock Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado on August 11, 2019. - FASTER Colorado has been sponsoring firearms …

An Ohio law that gives schools the option to allow teachers to be armed in the classroom in time for the coming school year is “batshit crazy,” according to a recent Vanity Fair piece that blasts Republicans for offering “ridiculous” solutions to prevent mass shootings.

A Vanity Fair essay published on Tuesday — penned by politics correspondent Bess Levin and titled “Ohio Enacts Batshit Crazy Law Arming Teachers in the Classroom” — began by accusing Republicans of doing little to prevent mass shootings while being “gung ho” in offering “ridiculous ‘solutions’ that fail to address the actual issue.”

“Lately, that’s included a lot of talk about building schools with only one door, the need for more God, demonizing marijuana, ‘addressing the culture of fatherlessness,’ and designing schools with ‘man traps’ and ‘trip wire[s],’” Levin wrote. 

“One of the GOP’s longtime favorites, though, is arming teachers—who apparently don’t have enough to do—and hoping they’ll foil any would-be mass murderers,” she added. “And on Monday, Ohio moved to make that conservative fantasy a reality.”

Levin was referring to Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) signing of legislation Monday to allow school staff and teachers to be armed for classroom defense.

The new law does not require schools to arm teachers, and schools that do not want armed staff and teachers can still bar them from carrying guns for defending the classroom.

Ohio lawmakers had expedited the legislation to arm teachers following the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting last month. Owing to the new law, Levin warned “school districts could have armed art, history, and math teachers starting this fall.”

“Worried about teachers actually knowing how to use such weapons, or the possibility of things going wrong?” she asked. 

“Fear not: While the Ohio Supreme Court ruled last year that school staff would have to have undergone roughly 728 hours of training or have 20 years of experience to carry a firearm on school grounds, the legislation was reportedly fast-tracked to counter that ruling, so that your kid‘s homeroom teacher will only need to complete 24 hours of training before bringing a gun into the classroom,” she wrote.

Levin fails to mention that under the latest version of the bill, training must include instruction on how to stop an active shooter and de-escalate a violent situation, as well as trauma and first-aid care.

The Ohio governor has also made it clear that individual school districts will decide whether to arm educators and staff members — who would receive annual training. 

Noting that several Democratic Ohio mayors and even some Republican lawmakers had criticized the law “for failing to pass meaningful gun control legislation instead,” Levin concluded by slamming the recent bipartisan package announced over the weekend because it “does not raise the minimum age for purchase, expand background checks for all firearm sales, or ban military-style assault weapons.”

In December, Levin claimed Republicans are “pro-death” and “anti-science and anti-rational thought” in a piece on vaccine mandates.

Her latest essay comes in the wake of a school shooting at a Texas elementary school last month that left 19 children and two adults dead and as House Democrats passed a legislative package last week that contains six gun control measures.

On Sunday, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal on gun control legislation, though the compromise excludes President Joe Biden’s “assault weapons” ban and a higher minimum age for rifle purchases.

The deal includes Republican priorities — such as expanded mental health services and school safety — and nods to Democratic priorities by adding expanded background checks for those under the age of 21, who will now have their juvenile records screened before gun purchases.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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