There are alternatives to guns in District 15 schools

Posted1/9/2019 1:00 AM

The District 15 school board is considering hiring armed retired policemen.

More guns is not the answer. Introducing guns increases children's anxiety and the likelihood of accidental shootings, and has not proven effective.

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Consider these proven solutions instead:

• Education on safe gun storage. Guns used in 80 percent of school shootings were taken from the home, a friend or relative. Suicide accounts for 60 percent of all firearm fatalities. Moms Demand Action has a program called SMART that can presented at PTA and BOE meetings.

• Educate kids and staff to speak up if they see or hear something suspicious. In 80 percent of shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the plan but failed to report it. Sandy Hook Promise has a program called 'Say Something' that schools can implement.

• Create a 2-5 year plan with community involvement on how to improve school safety infrastructure.

• Adopt and train on a behavior threat assessment plan.

• Create safe and inclusive environments.

• Join groups like Moms Demand Action or Organizing for Action to amplify and make our voices heard. We've made progress and will continue to fight for common sense gun reform. In November, the referendum to require gun dealers to be certified in Illinois was approved by more than 91 percent of Cook County voters.


• Improve the availability of mental health services. Remove the stigma and make it more accessible and affordable. Mentally ill people are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.

There is a coalition of organizations that has been working on this issue for years and would be happy to support the board with alternatives to more guns.

We want to see prevention over reaction. We want to see school shootings stopped -- not just minimize the number of dead children and educators.

Joyce Slavik


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