Posted In: School Safety, Uncategorized

Sign the petition to support school safety

The senseless tragedy in Newtown was a tipping point and galvanization for action. As educators, we have grieved too long and too often—for the children killed, their families and the heroic educators who gave their lives trying to protect their students. Now more than ever we need to do what is necessary to make sure every child in our nation’s public schools has a safe and secure learning environment.

We commend President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for moving swiftly and presenting concrete, bold steps to keep children safe and begin addressing gun violence in America. We believe the common-sense recommendations put forth by President Obama are an important first step toward keeping children safe, providing more support for students and educators, and keeping military-style weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

To solve the problem, we must have not only meaningful action on preventing gun violence but also bullying prevention and much greater access to mental health services, so that educators and families can identify problems and intervene before it’s too late.

With the clock ticking to prevent another Sandy Hook and Americans demanding swift action, the nation’s attention now is squarely on Congress. The time is now for Washington to put politics aside and work together to keep our children safe and reduce the incidence of gun violence in our communities.

Sign the petition below to help curb gun violence in our schools.

Enter your cell phone number above to receive text messages from Education Votes.
Disclaimer: We do not share the information you’ve given us with unaffiliated groups without your explicit permission. We will not make any of your information publicly available, but we may transmit it to members of Congress and to the President as part of a petition. Education Votes and affiliated groups will send you updates on this and other important campaigns by email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email list, you may do so.

Reader Comments

  1. Margaret Denn

    Having experienced a lock down because of a father waving a rifle around in the school parking lot, and this at the elementary level, I support efforts to prevent gun violence in schools and elsewhere. That was omly one incidence of a time that I felt that I was on the front lines. Another was when a fellow teacher asked me to sit in on a parent teacher conference because she was afraid of a parent. This took place during evening conferencing when no principal was available in the building. Personally, I would support having a security officer in every public school. That person could be a friend to the students and be there if needed. Something has to be done and soon.

    Reply
  2. Kathy Tanner

    The violence goes beyond the walls of the building. Inner cities have dealt with violence issues for years with little or no solutions even though the solutions are already out there. They always have been evident. It is in the learning not the testing. It is having each individual bringing out his or her talents/skills to collaborate and making solutions a priority. It is seeing the teachers beyond the titles, certifications, age, ethnicity. It is seeing everyone as a teacher and learner and moving in a positive direction. Everyone can work toward a new town.
    If you are a person who has tried this and have failed to find others in your immediate area who will support positive action, I believe we are all so fortunate to have such a variety of resources, including technology, to help us find others who will help and move toward solutions.

    Reply
  3. Shanda

    Automatic weapons have been banned since ’82. An automatic weapon is a “machine gun”…bullets keep firing as long as the trigger is held. Semi-auto is what the ban proposals are talking about, sounds similar which is unfortunate because it causes confusion between the two…but they are totally different. A semi-auto fires only one bullet for each time the trigger is pulled, just like a revolver. The “auto” part of “semi-auto” has only to do with how the next bullet is lined up with the chamber, using a spring in a magazine…a revolver does this by turning a cylinder. A semi shoots no faster that a revolver…an average semi magazine holds only a few more bullets. It takes only a second to change a magazine and 2 to 3 seconds to reload a revolver, even for a beginner…hence the knowledge among law enforcement and firearms “learned” that high capacity magazine bans will do no good. Mental health services and security is the key. I’m not talking about every school employee bring a gun to work. Unfortunately also, due to privacy laws, background check only show if someone has been convicted of a violent crime…not if that person is mentally ill, or has made threats to a Dr.
    No disrespect in any way, not trying to be a smarty pants, I’m just trying to help educate and clear up some common misconceptions.

    Reply
  4. Jason Circle

    As a dual career individual, concurrently in education and law enforcement, I must respectfully disagree with those stating that having PROPERLY TRAINED, armed staff members would not have saved lives in the most recent school shooting. Please take note of the fact that I place emphasis on the fact that they must be properly trained. In an active shooter event, the police are at best minutes away and cannot stop the violence that is occuring. On the other hand, an armed staff member may be only seconds away. The time that it takes a dispatcher to take the phone report and send officers to the scene is time that a shooter will use to take the lives of the innocent. Seconds count! If you do not wish to be an armed staff member and accept the responsibility that it entails, I bear you no ill will, but I strongly urge you not to take that ability away from those individuals that are willing and able to stand in the line of fire to protect the innocent.

    As for banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, I will agree that there is not a need for high capacity magazines outside of the military and law enforcement realms, but be careful what you classify as an assault weapon. Does it simply have to look like an assault weapon to be banned or should it have the ability to fire as a fully automatic weapon? If it is anything short of a fully automatic weapon and you choose to ban it, you are infringing upon the rights of millions of law abiding citizens that utilize semiautomatic firearms for hunting and sport related activities. Let’s get educated about the vocabulary and functions of the variety of firearms before we react with our emotions to ban them all.

    As a parting thought…

    It has been said that there are three types of people in the world: sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. The sheep are peaceful and productive members of society that shy away from all conflict and are content to have others fight their battles for them. The wolves are menacing predators that are prone to extreme violence and spend all of their energy and abilities preying upon the sheep with no thought as to the repercussions of their actions. The sheep dogs exist to protect the sheep. They do this knowing that at any moment they could face their worst nightmare and yet they do so willingly and with great courage in the face of danger to protect those that are either unwilling or unable to protect themselves. Which type of person are you?

    I am a sheep dog and stand ready to meet the wolves if they should come calling…with a stick and a pair of scissors. Doesn’t sound very intimidating does it?

    Reply
    • Shanda

      Jason, I absolutely could not agree more…your entire post is spot on. Education is so very important in finding the solution to issue re. guns, mental health, and keeping our children safe etc. Its so very disheartning to see, over and over again, a tool taking the blame and the actual causes getting ignored and swept under the rug yet again.
      I wish all educators and politicians would take the time to learn about firearms, their functions, what background checks do and dont reveal, and mental illness…etc. etc. If they did I believe they would find that 95% of what is commonly believed about such subjects are untrue, and may even change their oppinions. To me it speaks volumes that a vast majority of law enforcement officials, in my experience, do not support further gun control knowing that it will not help the problem in the least bit. I gun is a tool and nothing more…it takes a person with the evil intent to do the deed. Timothy McVeigh ring a bell? No gun but still killed so many innocent lives.
      I am a bus driver for my district, I also hold a concealed permit and carry daily. I would do anything necessary to protect my kids, just like I would my own children. If my dist. ever allowed me to carry at work I gladly would, but only with the additional training mentioned and always, always concealed. I normally don’t post or comment, but I feel it is important to educate those ignorant on these subjects. I think your post did just that. Well done.

      Reply
  5. Maria Bidelman

    One way to curb any type of violence and improve school safety is to improve student access to mental health services in and out of school. As I listen to this national debate about how to improve school safety, we have discussed mental health as it relates to gun ownership, but we have not discussed the more proactive and humane approach which is to help them with their mental illness and not discriminate against them. The more we discuss registering people with mental illness, the less these people with go for help for fear of being negatively labeled, and therefore the more at risk they are and we are as a community for ignoring potentially scary situations. If we are willing to talk about adding armed guards to our schools, why are we not willing to add more mental health professionals to schools and improve funding to community mental health systems. Things will get worse before they get better if we do not deal with the issue of mental illness with respect and integrity.

    Reply
  6. Laura Duncan

    We need a ban on automatic weapons and multiple rounds. I am in favor of improved mental health services and of background checks, but neither of these would have prevented the mass shootings that have occurred most recently. If Australia can do it, so can we. And by the way, I have no interest in carrying a gun into my classroom.

    Reply
    • Shanda

      Automatic weapons have been banned since ’82. An automatic weapon is a “machine gun”…bullets keep firing as long as the trigger is held. Semi-auto is what the ban proposals are talking about, sounds similar which is unfortunate because it causes confusion between the two…but they are totally different. A semi-auto fires only one bullet for each time the trigger is pulled, just like a revolver. The “auto” part of “semi-auto” has only to do with how the next bullet is lined up with the chamber, using a spring in a magazine…a revolver does this by turning a cylinder. A semi shoots no faster that a revolver…an average semi magazine holds only a few more bullets. It takes only a second to change a magazine and 2 to 3 seconds to reload a revolver, even for a beginner…hence the knowledge among law enforcement and firearms “learned” that high capacity magazine bans will do no good. Mental health services and security is the key. I’m not talking about every school employee bring a gun to work. Unfortunately also, due to privacy laws, background check only show if someone has been convicted of a violent crime…not if that person is mentally ill, or has made threats to a Dr.
      No disrespect in any way, not trying to be a smarty pants, I’m just trying to help educate and clear some common misconceptions.

      Reply
  7. Deborah Simkowski

    I wholehearted agree with you Terry. Furthermore I am appalled that some of our elected officials think the solution is to arm the teachers! Violence only begets violence. A gun in the hands of the “good guys” would not saved any of those innocent individuals. We need more access to mental health treatments and less access to guns especially assault rifles with high capacity ammo.

    Reply
  8. Linda DeSantis

    Children who are anti social or have poor anger and impulse control can be identified at young ages in the schools if class size is drastically reduced and teachers are trained to look for these symptoms. Also, art and music activites need to be incorporated on a daily basis in the curriculum. Children and teenagers need to have an outlet for their emotions . The arts provide a forum and a safe place for students to be “different” and still accepted. – - As for gun control measures more screening needs to be done before anyone can purchase a gun. It is not just mental illness that predisposes someone to kill.
    People who have been abused, have deep anger issues or have nurtured hatred also pose a risk.

    Reply
  9. Francia

    I believe as a nation we need to revise our gun control laws but we must not neglect the mental health topic out of the problem. As educators we come across many situations one of it is trying to help the child that goes untreated with their mental health or not finding the right mental health treatment. Mental health needs to be treated just like we treat a broken arm. It is extremely irresponsible of parents and therapists not to give or find the right treatment for these children. We find the parents that are in neglect and refuse to get their children the proper treatment because they are unhappy with the label. Then we have schools that have all the paperwork trail to prove this child needs treatment but the RTI process takes months to get the child to a proper placement of learning, yet this placement is just one component. Not taking your children to go and get the mental health treatment they need to be successful in school or in society should also be considered a form of neglect.

    Reply
  10. Cynthia Aubin

    We met a man from Perth, Australia recently. He told us that there was a similar shooting there, and as a result there were laws put in place which required gun owners to belong to either a hunting club, or a skeet shooting club. All weapons are stored and locked at the club and have to be checked out for use. What a great idea!

    Reply
  11. Janet Heller

    All people must stand together in protecting our children, relatives, neighbors, friends etc. and find a common ground to good common sense. Quality of life is drastically going down due to those who support extreme views on anything goes regarding owning high-powered weapons. Where is our humanity?

    Reply
  12. Terry Lang

    We definitely need a ban on all automatic assault weapons & high capacity magazines. Also, we need universal background checks on all gun purchases, including gun show purchases that now are excluded. This killing done at Sandy Hook was a clear sign of parental irresponsibility. This parent had the resources to avail herself of mental health issues for her child here & did not utilize them. Like many such parents they keep quiet about the whole issue in front of others for feelings of either pride or shame. She had no business owning such assault weapons. She had no business taking her high-risk child to target shooting practices with such weapons just to bond with him. If she had been a more responsible parent or there had been a ban on such high-powered weapons 7 their accompanying magazines, there would have been no such horrific shootings that December day. To effectively solve this proble, we ahve to get to the root cause of it, as I explained above.

    Reply

Reader Comments

Learn More to Get Involved