Anti-gunners are shaking their heads right about now. It seems that when they think of panels to examine a school shooting, the only thing they want to hear is some form of gun control.
Yet a panel empowered by President Trump in the wake of the Parkland massacre has managed to find all kinds of things they believe will help that have nothing at all to do with gun control, including armed staff at schools.
“Our conclusions in this report do not impose one-size-fits-all solutions for everyone, everywhere,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who led the commission. “The primary responsibility for the physical security of schools and the safety of their students naturally rests with states and local communities.”
Trump praised the report at a White House event Tuesday, saying “nothing is more important than protecting our nation’s children.”
On the question of whether schools should arm staff members, the panel said it should be left to states and schools to decide, but DeVos said schools should “seriously consider” the option. The report highlights districts that have armed staff members, and it steers schools to federal funding that can be used for firearm training.
Among the biggest proposals is a rollback of 2014 guidance that urges schools not to suspend, expel or report students to police except in the most extreme cases. Instead, the guidance calls for a variety of “restorative justice” remedies that don’t remove students from the classroom.
President Barack Obama’s administration issued the guidance after finding that black students were more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled. The directive warns that schools suspected of discrimination — even if it is unintentional — can face investigations and risk losing federal funding.
The rollback of the Obama measure is huge.
After all, the Obama administration basically warned schools not to discipline students at all. That may not have been the intention, but that was the effect. Especially since discrimination is generally an intentional act in the first place. Students being disciplined generally aren’t singled out because of their race, but because of their behavior. If one ethnicity seems to be punished more than another, then maybe it would be prudent to examine just why that’s the case.
But by making that argument, the Obama administration set the stage for Parkland. After all, the killer had been a problem for some time, yet nothing was done due to that guidance.
Another big call was for the arming of staff members, which we knew was coming. This was a drum that had already been beaten, and we know it can work, too. While critics like to blast the idea, saying that teachers shouldn’t have to carry guns, they fail to understand that we’re not talking about them having to carry, but that they should be permitted to do so. That’s a significant difference, as it leaves it up to the individual teachers to decide.
We’re talking about giving teachers a choice.
Of course, some are upset that more wasn’t said about gun control. While the panel did endorse red flag protective orders–despite the problems such orders could create–they said pretty much nothing else that gun control activists could embrace.
And they don’t like that.
They’ll need to get over it, though. Gun control wouldn’t have stopped what happened at Parkland. In fact, what would have stopped it was if people were doing their damn jobs from the start. If they’d have done that, the killer couldn’t have gotten his hands on a weapon legally.
There’s no reason to punish the rest of the country because they couldn’t do their jobs.