The Arkansas School Safety Commision Ignored Proven Gun Violence Prevention Policies in Favor of Arming Teachers and Staff
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to a report from the Arkansas School Safety Commission that endorses the presence of armed teachers and staff at schools but lacks common-sense gun policies that are known to prevent gun violence. Arkansas is already one of a small group of states that allow teachers to be armed.
The report encourages all schools in the state to have an armed presence on campus, and endorses the arming of teachers and school staff, despite the fact that there is no evidence arming teachers will protect children in schools. In fact, research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe. For this reason, school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials across the country oppose arming teachers. In fact, the nation’s two largest organizations of education professionals, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, consistently reject the presence of guns in schools.
The report ignores research-backed gun violence prevention strategies that have been adopted by other states, like Red Flag Laws. Robust Red Flag Laws empower family members and local law enforcement to petition a court to restrict a person’s access to firearms when they are a threat to themselves or others. These laws de-escalate volatile situations while protecting Second Amendment rights. As a direct response to the Parkland school shooting, Florida passed a Red Flag Law that gives law enforcement the tools they need to help keep school communities safe by temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people who display dangerous warning signs.
STATEMENT FROM EVE JORGENSEN, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE ARKANSAS CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“We owe it to our children to do everything we can to keep them safe from gun violence. That’s why I spoke to the School Safety Commission explaining the risk of arming teachers. I’m disappointed that instead of exploring proven gun violence prevention tools like robust Red Flag Laws, the Commission is recommending the dangerous policy of arming teachers. It is vital for our elected officials to learn what our educators and law enforcement already know – that putting guns in the hands of teachers is not the answer. I hope Governor Hutchinson will look to his fellow governors in both parties who have recognized the benefits of Red Flag Laws.”