Letter: Reader opposes House Bill 8

Published:

Rep. Kristina Roegner, our local member of the Ohio House of Representatives, co-sponsored House Bill 8, which passed the Ohio House and is now headed to the Senate. The bill allows schools behind closed doors to decide which school personnel can be armed and to keep their identity secret, taking away our right to transparency as parents of public school children. Secondly, this bill protects faculty gun-holders and schools from any liability if there is an accident as long as the faculty member acted "appropriately." But if a teacher shoots an innocent child or teacher, how can one call that appropriate? This means no money for costly rehabilitation or, God forbid, funeral expenses.

Rep. Roegner criticizes that teachers can't be trusted to unionize and collectively bargain, but she champions these same teachers as sharpshooters in the worst of situations. Using a firearms training simulator, people routinely killed bystanders and get themselves repeatedly killed without saving anyone. Even Roegner said, "At the end of the day people are human and are going to make mistakes." Both police officers and teachers are concerned that an armed teacher could be shot when law enforcement arrives and can't tell who the perpetrator is.

If the supporters of HB8 were honest, they would tell us it's cheaper to arm teachers than hire security officers and they would tell us that insurance companies warned schools that they could face much higher premiums if staff are armed, which may spark future lawsuits. Representatives then came up with a vastly inferior plan that puts teachers and students in danger and saves money by eliminating just compensation. The supporters then spin it into "school safety."

We need to protect our children and teachers even if state representatives are too misguided to do so. Is this really the best Rep. Roegner could do for our children?

Kelly Paulozzi, Hudson

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