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Global Economy

Trump panel recommends guns in schools to keep US students safe

A safety
panel set up by
US President Donald
in the wake of numerous school shootings recommended on Tuesday that
schools consider arming staff, using veterans as guards and reversing Obama-era guidelines.

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

The commission rejected calls
to increase the minimum age required for gun purchases, arguing
in its 180-page report that most school shooters obtain 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 also 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

The commission’s report said the measure has had “a strong negative impact on school discipline and safety.” The American Civil Liberties Union condemned that proposition.

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.

Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, who will be
US House speaker when her party take over the chamber
in January, criticized the report saying
Trump and DeVos “have reached a new low.”

“Their ‘report’ on school safety puts special interests and the NRA ahead of protecting America’s school children.
Students & parents have had #Enough,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

She drew a backlash from Ryan Petty, a gun enthusiast and school safety advocate whose 14 year old daughter was killed
in the Parkland massacre.

“Hi @NancyPelosi, it’s easy
to be a critic. Harder
to create. Would you sit down with Parkland families
to discuss the report?,” Petty wrote on Twitter.

“We worked hard
to ensure this report addresses top school safety priorities. It’s painful for
us when you dismiss it without basis
in fact,” he added.

Over 219,000
students have been involved
in a school shooting since the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre, according
to figures collated by the Washington Post.


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