Scott Statement on Trump’s Proposal to Arm Teachers and Harden Schools

March 12, 2018
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Trump administration released their proposals for school safety.

“Yesterday’s school safety proposals from the Trump administration are both inadequate and concerning. The administration has misplaced its focus on arming school personnel and dismantling civil rights protections for students instead of offering meaningful, evidence-based solutions to gun violence prevention. Our students and families do not need a federal Commission to study violence prevention, when real solutions that curb access to high-powered firearms and evidence-based violence prevention strategies are readily available.

“While school security infrastructure is part of the conversation, evidence tells us that ‘hardening schools’ fails to address the root causes of school violence.  Worse, it creates a culture of fear and anxiety that exacerbates the ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline.’ Removing school district resources that improve discipline practices and student supports might fit the administration’s deregulation agenda, but it certainly will not make students and teachers safer.  Now is the time to focus on violence prevention that takes a collaborative and comprehensive approach. This must include not only commonsense gun violence prevention measures, but also better access to mental health, inclusive and welcoming school climates, and early interventions to provide positive supports to help students succeed.

“I strongly urge President Trump and Secretary DeVos to listen to the voices of teachers, students, civil rights advocates, and researchers.  Safe schools will only come from a shared commitment to equip all teachers and school leaders with the tools and resources they need to tackle the conditions that cause school violence and support student learning.”