Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Parkland County School Board discussed what the next steps are to keeping schools safe. They eventually decided against arming school employees with guns.
• The debate about gun violence in relation to school safety has been ongoing since the Parkland shooting in February. What are the alternative solutions (besides arming teachers) being brought into the conversation?
• There is research to support why arming teachers won’t increase school safety.
Broward School Board members took a stand against arming school employees while facing harsh public criticism about how well the district protects and cares for its students. In a meeting dominated by issues related to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, the School Board declined to participate in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. Named after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High football coach who died in the Feb. 14 school shooting, the program provides $67 million statewide for training and stipends for certain school employees to be armed.
Lisa Olsen, whose son William was struck by gunfire during the shooting, received an apology from two School Board members after saying district officials failed to reach out to either of them to see how they were doing.
Board members Abby Freedman, who represents the Parkland area, and Rosalind Osgood apologized to Olsen. Freedman said she initially had a list only of the 17 who died, not the 17 who were injured. And when she received a list, it didn’t include all the names. Freedman said federal health privacy laws made it difficult for her to find out who was injured.
School Board members voiced their strong objection to one effort by the Legislature to make schools safer _ giving guns to school employees. They said they wouldn’t participate in the state’s guardian program.
It’s the second time since the Stoneman Douglas shooting that the School Board has taken a stand against arming teachers. It was included in a motion supporting gun control that the School Board passed March 6. That resolution was geared toward proposals by the federal government.
Read the full article about the Parkland school board by Scott Travis at Governing Magazine.
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