People hug one another before the start of a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In the time since the Columbine Massacre, 19 years ago today, 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at their school during the school day. That’s equivalent to the population of Salt Lake City. Gun violence in our schools is not a predetermined outcome that we must be prepared for —it is a consequence of decisions made by our elected leaders.
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The problem extends beyond mass shootings. Gun violence affects the lives of our students far too often, inside and outside of schools. Gun violence affects too many youth, especially in communities of color, on a daily basis. It is far past time for our leaders to take real action when it comes to gun violence.
Elected leaders across the country have released plans for how to deal with gun violence in their states and in our schools. At the Federal level, Donald Trump has tweeted his support for arming educators, while Betsy DeVos has, unsurprisingly, echoed his comments.
Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Scroll down to see how elected leaders and candidates in your state have addressed the idea of arming educators.
In Michigan, current Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette has spoken out in support of the Trump plan to arm educators in his state.
“That is an option that ought to be considered,” Schuette said in an interview with ABC News last week, “If we have to work on having security officers in schools and or teachers that are specially trained, specially equipped, that’s an option we ought to review.”
Democratic front-runner for the gubernatorial election, Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, has not only spoken out against arming educators, but also opposed a bill passed in Michigan that expanded concealed carry laws to include bars, preschools, churches and other places.
Want to find out how politicians in your state have voted on gun violence? Check out this New York Times interactive feature to learn more!