Trump Panel Proposes Guns in Schools to Keep Students SecureTop Stories

December 19, 2018 12:59
Trump Panel Proposes Guns in Schools to Keep Students Secure

(Image source from: New Straits Times)

In the aftermath of numerous school shootings in the United States, President Donald Trump has set up a safety panel on Tuesday recommending schools consider arming staff, using veterans as guards changing Obama-era guidelines.

The Federal Commission on School Safety panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was set up after the February slaughter in Parkland, Florida, when a former student shot dead 17 people, giving rise to mass gun control protests.

The commission turned down an appeal to increase the minimum age needed for gun purchases, arguing in its 180-page report that most school shooters get their weapons from family members or friends.

Instead, it suggested arming staff - even teachers in some circumstances - "for the sake of effectively and immediately responding to violence."

School districts where police responses could be slower, such as rural districts, may benefit in particular, the commission said.

It as well recommended education authorities hiring military veterans and former police officers who "can also serve as highly effective educators."

The report pushes for a review of disciplinary guidelines introduced in 2014 under former president Barack Obama, which suggested alternatives to suspension and expulsion to tackle discrimination against black and Latino students.

The commission's report said the measure has had "a strong negative impact on school discipline and safety."

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized that statement.

"The Trump administration is exploiting tragedies to justify rolling back school children's civil rights protections, despite the lack of any evidence linking school discipline reform to school shootings," it said in a statement.

More than 219,000 students in the United States have been involved in a school shooting since the April 1999 Columbine High School slaughter, according to figures collated by the Washington Post.

-Sowmya Sangam

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Donald Trump  guns in schools