From Education Voters of Pennsylvania (http://www.educationvoterspa.org/):
On August 25, 2016, a teacher at a private, Christian elementary school in Chambersburg, PA left her loaded gun on the back of a toilet in a one-stall restroom that she shared with students. At least four children between the ages of 6 and 8 used that bathroom while her loaded gun was left on the back of the toilet, unattended, for 3 hours.
We only need to look to Chambersburg to see how allowing guns in schools can be far more dangerous than the harm this seeks to avoid.
Today (9/12/17), Education Voters was proud to stand with PA Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera, and representatives from the Education Law Center, Cease Fire PA, and Moms Demand Action to call on state lawmakers to abandon legislation that would arm school personnel.
As the Education Law Center points out in this memo, “There is no evidence that arming school personnel increases school safety, and nationally, arming school personnel is not a recommended practice.”
The prime sponsor of SB 383, the guns in schools legislation that passed in the PA Senate earlier this year, said that he introduced legislation to arm school employees because schools in his district couldn’t afford to pay for security guards.
He didn’t say he sponsored this bill because evidence demonstrates that arming school employees is the most effective way to keep our children safe.
He sponsored this legislation and many state senators voted to arm teachers, custodians, and lunch ladies because it is cheaper than providing enough increased state funding so that schools can hire trained professionals to support safe and healthy learning environments for our children.
Parents can’t afford for lawmakers to be cheap when it comes to keeping our children safe in their public schools.
We call on the PA legislature to abandon any legislation to arm school employees. We call on them to invest significant additional resources into our public schools so that they have enough money to hire the trained professionals they need, including counselors and nurses, so that they can support evidence-based programs that have demonstrated improved school climate and that prevent violent incidents before they happen.
We are not aware of any plans in the PA House to move SB 383 (they really should be focusing their efforts on passing a responsible revenue package to fund the 2017-2018 state budget). If we learn that lawmakers are thinking about bringing this up for a vote, we will let you know.
Thank you for your support of public education.