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Rep. Lipps Announces Passage of Legislation to Improve Security Measures in Schools

HB 318 establishes guidelines for school resource officers
April 13, 2018
P. Scott Lipps News

COLUMBUS—State Representative Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) announced passage of legislation to establish certain qualifications and training requirements for school resource officers (SROs). House Bill 318 also permits SROs to provide a specified range of services to the schools they serve.

Bill sponsors Representatives Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) introduced the legislation so that SROs are able to have guidelines and training necessary to effectively protect students. In order to do this, the state must establish certain criteria and standards for SROs, which are currently absent in Ohio statute.

“Having just participated in a school safety forum, with students from seven Warren County High Schools, I am proud to be a cosponsor of HB 318,” said Lipps. “This important legislation formally defines the position of school resource officers and assists schools with the funding and training of SRO's. Our children should be working on changing our world not worried about their safety at school.”

LaTourette and Patterson introduced the legislation after being approached by the Coach Hall Foundation. Frank Hall is the football coach at Chardon High School who is credited with saving countless lives that terrible day in 2012 when a student opened fire on classmates. Coach Hall chased the shooter out of the school, preventing further casualties. Today, the Coach Hall Foundation seeks to “provide effective means to protect against school violence and improve the quality of life in our school communities.”

House Bill 318 provides an appropriation to provide grants to schools that are interested in establishing an SRO program. The bill also requires SROs to complete 40 hours of specialized training offered by either the National or Ohio Association for School Resource Officers. Additionally, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will be permitted to conduct studies of school security upgrades in order to ensure the proper infrastructure is in place to keep students safe.

The legislation passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.