Just a few days before the tragic anniversary of Parkland mass shooting, a newly released report emphasized the urgency to implement effective gun control measures in schools that would actually start yielding results. The report comes as a joint effort of Everytown for Gun Safety, a nation-leading gun safety association, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
As this week is marked by the remembrance of tragic events in the Florida school, the general public is reminded once again that little has been done to ensure that such tragedies would not happen again, activists and teachers say. Last year, a Florida teenager has shot seventeen people at school, most of them children. A growing number of students, including those who witnessed the shootings, were crucial in bringing up the issue of gun safety and making it the country’s top concern.
Previously, the White House’s report caused public outrage for calling to abandon Obama-led measures to enhance safety in schools, including an attempt to put an end to an abnormally high number of cases disciplining children of color. In the wake of mass shooting in Parkland, President Trump has also suggested to arm teachers and personnel in schools.
The new report by teachers and gun safety experts brushes aside this suggestion as a terrible and ineffective one. Activists say that further hardening people will do nothing good and can potentially result in even more victims of gun violence. Instead, what schools really need are thoughtful and effective measures that would ensure schools remain weapon-free at all times. The report also stresses the importance of putting in place training that would teach personnel to recognize threats, prevent outbreaks of violence and act wisely should the incident does break out.
Interestingly, the report by the White House omits calls for more severe gun legislation. On the contrary, teachers made it one of the focal points of their report. They also pointed out that a lot could be done to reinforce the school facilities, including basics like fencing or windows, in order to make them more robust. Both reports agreed that schools lack mental health services, designed to identify distressed students and help them before they start viewing violence as a last-resort option.
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