Ohio Passes School Safety Law

LEBANON, Ohio, Gov. Bob Taft signed a state law on Dec. 19 requiring more detailed safety inspections of Ohio public and private schools.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Raga, R-Mason, creates a committee that will coordinate inspections. Local health officials, under the direction of the Ohio Department of Health, will be required to inspect schools annually to identify risks.

Previously, there was no central authority in the state responsible for identifying and documenting school safety hazards, including those involving folding tables. Ohio law only addressed building safety, fire safety and food safety.

The new law was introduced and passed in response to the death of six-year-old Jarod Bennet in 2003. Bennett died from a skull fracture after a heavy table on wheels tipped over on him while he was playing in his school gymnasium.

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