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Linda Darling Hammond writes that arming teachers and expelling students
“In response to the rash of school shootings in the United States, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is now considering allowing states to use federal funds to put guns in schools, training and arming marshals and teachers.
“The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (under Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act) are intended to expand and improve student learning, not to buy guns. They are used by school districts for implementing school-based social, emotional, and mental health services and support as well as dropout prevention programs. They are used to help ensure that students from low-income families have access to technology as well as to advanced coursework, and college and career counseling. In short, these funds are intended to help to create schools where all students are seen, supported, and valued.
“Siphoning off those funds to put guns in schools won’t make students safer and it won’t improve academic achievement. In fact, in school shooting incidents, 95 percent of attackers were current students at the school and of those, 71 percent said that they felt persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked, or injured by others prior to taking action. By contrast, in schools that focus on social-emotional learning and offer mental health supports, evidence shows that students feel and are safer, interpersonal relationships are stronger, bullying and fighting are reduced, and achievement and graduation rates are higher. Where students are supported and taught to be caring and responsible, these students can be helped, protected, and redirected to productive futures.”