FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(CROTON FALLS, NY): Arming school personnel is not the solution to the American crisis of school shootings. Yet, after a month of outcry following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the Florida legislature passed a bill signed by Gov. Scott that, while certainly including some good provisions, contained a compromise that will authorize and fund school personnel to carry firearms.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement in opposition to arming school personnel:
“The students of Parkland, FL and others have put forth monumental efforts, and deserve all the credit, and more, that they’ve gotten. But (thanks to the Florida state legislature and Gov. Scott), when a national tragedy like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happens and the policy result is arming school personnel (including teachers), the pendulum – despite all appearances – is actually shifting the wrong way.
This is, for many reasons, a bad idea. For example, there are liability issues, increased costs to school districts, workplace shootings and the threat of unintentional gun discharges (which we continue to see) that school districts must confront if school personnel are armed. Intense training is needed to confront an active shooter – and without harming any other people – in buildings filled with staff and students. Conversely, unarmed school staff have stopped more active shooters than civilians with guns, according to FBI data.
For these reasons, the National Education Association and the American Federation Teachers oppose arming school personnel. So does the The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Unfortunately, far from the nation listening to these authorities – the stakeholders actually impacted by school shootings – the idea that arming school personnel as a “solution” to school shootings is not limited to Florida. A number of bills that would authorize the arming of school personnel have been introduced in various state legislatures. And, on the federal level, President Trump has come out in support of this option: instead of, among other things, moving forward with his earlier plan to explore criminalizing assault weapons purchases by those under 21, he has promised to move forward with exploring federal funding for schools that want to arm their personnel.
The solution to the Parkland shooting should not have included arming school personnel. And the response in other state legislatures, and from the federal government, should also not be about arming school personnel.
Let us be clear: that is not – and should not have been – a negotiable.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push loaded, concealed guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Andy Pelosi, Executive Director, [email protected] (914-629-6726)