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DeVos’ School Safety Plan Ignores Schools’ Real Needs

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ Federal Commission on School Safety was supposed to address gun violence in our schools and recommend ways schools can keep students safe. Instead, the commission yesterday released a report that recommends pressuring educators to possess dangerous firearms in our schools and stripping students’ of civil rights protections, which seek to prevent racial disparities in student discipline.

While the report does not require educators to be armed, it encourages schools “to seriously consider partnering with local law enforcement in the training and arming of school personnel.”

“Connecticut teachers do not want to be armed,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “Stockpiling guns will not make our schools safer—violence begets violence.”

Leake continued, “Secretary DeVos fails to see that what our schools really need are more counselors, more school social workers, and a school culture that supports the needs of all of our students.”

The report also recommends repealing school discipline policies put in place by the Obama administration that aim to address racial disparities in who is suspended or expelled.

“We must treat all students fairly and continue to advance responsible discipline policies and practices that are best for our students,” Leake said. “Our focus should be on prevention and addressing the underlying causes of school violence.”

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