Dear MoveOn member,
I'm Anna Fusco, Broward Teachers Union president in Florida, and I started a petition to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos because she is considering a plan that would allow states to use Title IV federal funds to purchase guns for teachers.1
Arming teachers is not a solution to school shootings. Educators want to teach, not be armed at school. Students and parents want schools to be safe and welcoming places.
I pray that there will never be another school shooting like the one we lived through in Parkland, FL. Just earlier this year, it never occurred to me that we'd be in a situation where we might have a secretary of education consider diverting resources that are used to support poor kids in order to flood schools with more guns.
As The New York Times reported, such a move would reverse a long-standing position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons. And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding for guns. As recently as March, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms.2
The reporting goes on to say that the $1 billion student support program, part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, is intended for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country's poorest schools, and it calls for school districts to use the money toward meeting three goals: Providing a well-rounded education, improving school conditions for learning, and improving the use of technology for digital literacy.3
Sign the petition telling Betsy DeVos that you agree with educators, students, and parents who have made clear that they don't want more guns in schools; teachers want to teach and students want to learn.
Rather than disregard the demands and needs of the people who know what our schools require, the Department of Education should use Title IV funding to:
● Provide a well-rounded education (examples include expanding AP courses and access to such courses, arts education, civics education, more college and career counseling, environmental education, expanding foreign language options, STEM, and social-emotional learning);
● Ensure safe and healthy students (including asthma management, bullying prevention, drug and violence prevention, indoor air quality, safe schools, mental health, and suicide prevention); and
● Provide effective use of technology.
We must stand with the education community now.
–Anna Fusco, Broward Teachers Union president
1. "Betsy DeVos Eyes Federal Education Grants to Put Guns in Schools," The New York Times, August 23, 2018
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