WASHINGTON, DC – Teach Plus today released the following statement regarding the Federal School Safety Commission’s recommendations on the steps the government can take to prevent school shootings:
“The School Safety Commission’s report conflicts with the views of many classroom teachers on how to most effectively prevent school shootings and rolls back important student rights in ways that are likely to increase racial disparities in school discipline.
A nationwide poll of over 1,000 teachers conducted by Teach Plus after the Parkland school shooting found overwhelming opposition to the idea of arming teachers in schools. Instead, teachers underscored the need for resources and programs that support students’ social and emotional learning and prioritize mental health. According to one teacher: “Having more guns in schools is not the answer. Providing ample resources for people with mental health problems, both in and outside of school, is a starting point.”
Teach Plus teachers have also voiced strong support for the Obama-era school discipline guidance, released in 2014 by the Departments of Education and Justice, which the Commission is now recommending to rescind. “The inclusive, thoughtful, and reflective discipline practices we must move towards should be the cornerstone of our work as a country to do right by all students and give every student, no matter the color of their skin, the best education and close the opportunity gap,” wrote Teach Plus Colorado Policy Fellow Kathleen Campbell in an op-ed.
“We are deeply disappointed by this action and the impact that it will have in classrooms across the country,” said Roberto Rodriguez, President and CEO of Teach Plus. “States and school leaders have made encouraging progress to make our schools safe and supportive under this guidance. Its reversal is the wrong direction for our country, and we call on educators and policy makers to stay the course in their efforts to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and support the whole needs of our nation’s students. ””
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. www.teachplus.org