Duncan: Hard to teach kids scared of being killed

“The vast majority of teachers don’t want guns in the schools,” Duncan said. “They want more social workers, counselors, mental-health services, after-school programs.” (Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com)

Too many students worry more about being killed by a gun than learning in the classroom, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on Jan. 17, as he cautioned that firearms alone do not make schools safer.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Duncan said he understands the urgent concerns over school safety in the wake of last month’s shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 students dead. He called the 23 executive orders that President Barack Obama signed Jan. 15 a move in the correct direction but emphasized that they alone were not enough.

“This was only a first step. We need a lot less children being shot dead. We need a lot less children living in fear,” he said, urging leaders to listen to teachers.

“Right now, the overwhelming majority of teachers are saying they’d love more resources,” Duncan said in wide-ranging interview about his second term as the nation’s top school administrator. “They do not want—they are speaking very clearly—they are saying they do not want more guns in schools.”

(Next page: More from Duncan’s interview with the AP)

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