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.…Read More

Parents hesitant about NRA’s proposal for more guns in schools

Reactions to the NRA’s proposal for more guns in schools have ranged from supportive to disgusted.

The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby on Dec. 21 called for the placement of an armed police officer in every school, but parents and educators question how safe such a move would keep kids, whether it would be economically feasible, and how it would alter student life. Their reactions ranged from supportive to disgusted.

Already, there are an estimated 10,000 sworn officers serving in schools around the country, most of them armed and employed by local police departments, according to a membership association for the officers. Still, they’re deployed at only a fraction of the country’s approximately 98,000 public schools, and their numbers have declined during the economic downturn.

Some departments have increased police presence at schools since this month’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, but they say they can only do so temporarily because of funding.…Read More