In the current discussions involving school shooting incidents and arming staff members, one interesting question that inevitably arises concerns collective bargaining issues that may come into play as well. Obviously, permitting staff to possess firearms, as well as expecting them to use them if the situation dictates can be construed as a term or condition of employment. However, remember that in Ohio, only staff members who can possess a concealed handgun license can volunteer to be part of the district’s armed responders. Most school districts also require these employees to attend additional training before they can be approved. Unions can have no influence on this part of the process. Furthermore, the names of these staff members are not a public record and maintained in strict secrecy. Frequently, few - if any - other staff members even know who they are. As such, unions have also had a difficult time identifying who they are bargaining for and what issues to bargain over.
In those situations where bargaining has occurred, it has tended to be over issues such as paying for training costs and added ammunition expenses. Since all armed staff employees clearly must possess a firearm, holster and spare magazine(s) in order to hold a CHL, those costs remain the employee’s. Rarely, stipends for serving have come up, although it is a distinct possibility.
As a reminder, on May 11, The OCSBA School Attorney Workshop which will take place on Friday, May 11. The workshop is designed for the school law practitioner and consists of a full day of presentations by experienced attorneys and other experts in the field. This year's agenda will include sessions on the following topics:
- School Safety Plans
- Crisis Management for Attorneys and their Clients
- Insurance Perspectives on School Security
- Arming and Training School Employees
- Attorney Ethics in Dealing with School Crises
To register, please visit: https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/events/view/ocsba-school-attorney-workshop-0. This program has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 5.5 hours of CLE credit, with 1.00 hour of attorney professional conduct instruction.