Week in Review 8/24/2018

Students across the country are beginning their new school year. This is usually a time of great excitement. But today, concern over school safety is at an all-time high. 

Roughly one-third of today's parents fear for their child's safety in school, according to a poll by an educators' association. That's the highest proportion since 1998 when that number was only 12%. A majority of teens fear a shooting at their school. Last year there were nearly one school shooting a week.

The number of children who have experienced gunfire in their schools exceeds the population of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The Department of Education announced this week that it wants to arm teachers. More than 80 percent of teachers oppose carrying guns in schools. Many of those teachers own guns themselves. Arming teachers presents risks to students and faculty. Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers.

Unintentional discharge could injure or kill a teacher or student. Teachers attempting to take down an active shooter can harm bystanders and even lead to casualties among police officers.

This proposal is NRA-backed and a gift to the gun industry. There are around 140,000 public schools which employ 3.2 million full-time teachers. Arming teachers would be a big financial boon to the ailing gun industry.

Instead, federal funds should be going to improve our nations' classrooms. Our schools are deeply under-funded. Teachers lack supplies, computer technology and resources needed to meet students' educational and emotional requirements. Schools also struggle to hire and retain qualified, dedicated teachers.

We need Congress to pass common-sense gun laws such as, universal background checks on all gun sales, an assault weapons ban, and red flag laws to remove the guns from dangerous individuals.

In less than 11 weeks we have the chance to change Congress. You can vote out members who will not stand up the NRA. You can also donate to JAC-supported candidates who will make the necessary choices to keep our children safe, regardless of politics (click here for a list).

Arming teachers and buying children bullet-proof backpacks are not the answers to school shootings. The answer is at the ballot box. Elections matter. Register and vote.

Sources: www.usatoday.com, www.washingtonpost.com, nces.ed.gov, Pew Research