Giving Compass' Take:

• In the wake of fear-inspiring events, it is important to take measured and practical steps to prevent similar incidents. It is important to keep all of the needs of students and teachers in mind while designing policy solutions.

• How can policies be shaped to ensure that students have safe and accessible schools? What tradeoffs will have to be made? 

• Find out what teachers want legislators to put into classrooms to increase student safety. 

Federal proposals to address school safety through measures such as school-based police and metal detectors are “knee-jerk reactions” that could have dire consequences for some students, a coalition of civil rights leaders warned Monday.

Civil rights leaders point to federal data and other reports that indicate minority children and those with disabilities are disproportionately arrested by school-based officers. Black students are more than twice as likely as their white peers to be referred to law enforcement or arrested at school, according to the 2013–14 Civil Rights Data Collection, the most recent federal Education Department statistics.

Police presence in schools leads to an increase in arrests for minor behavior. Creating police states within schools and communities will not solve mass violence. In fact, it has only been a distraction from a discussion about gun control.

Increasing police in schools is a “knee-jerk” reaction that gives people “the perception of safety,” Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project, a nonprofit that focuses on issues of racial justice, said during a call with reporters on Monday. For some students, she said, increased law enforcement presence results in fear and anxiety.

Also up for debate are increases in security devices like locks on classroom doors and reinforced entryways. But their effects on disabled students should be weighed, said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network. Some devices, he said, could make schools less accessible for students with disabilities.

Read the full article on post-Parkland school violence bills by Mark Keierleber at The 74