PA lawmakers: Arm schools with resources, not guns!
Right now PA lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow teachers to carry concealed weapons and militarize our children's schools. They are also making decisions about how much they are willing to spend to keep students safe in schools.
It is critical that lawmakers hear from their constituents NOW, so that they can take into account the priorities of voters in their districts when making these decisions.
Tell lawmakers that school safety extends beyond militarized buildings to include addressing the emotional and psychological safety of students and the root causes of violence. If lawmakers are serious about improving student safety, it is time for them to get serious about providing the significant recurring funding school districts need to create safe and healthy learning environments for our children.
Ask your state lawmakers to:
- Reject Senate Bill 383 –and any similar legislation – that would allow school personnel to carry concealed weapons in schools. Arming lunch ladies and geometry teachers will not make our children’s schools safer. Instead, the presence of guns in schools will dramatically raise the odds that students will be accidentally injured or killed.
- Increase funding for school safety grants and remove the requirement that 60% of grant funding be set aside for school resource offices and police to ensure flexibility for school districts to use funding to best meet their needs.
- Mandate that security personnel in schools undergo training so that they are qualified to deal with the mental health, trauma-related, and special education-related issues that students experience. Nineteen states – including New York, New Jersey, and Delaware – mandate youth-specific training for school resource officers. Current PA law requires no training.
- Provide adequate Basic Education Funding to PA schools so that districts have the resources they need to pay for additional school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, and nurses, who can identify warning sign that students may be struggling and provide the supports necessary to keep students from falling through the cracks.