Sandy Hook Promise Condemns the Department of Education Grant to Fund Arming Teachers

NEWTOWN, Conn. /PRNewswire/ — Today, Sandy Hook Promise rejected the Department of Education’s proposed plan to provide funding to arm teachers that was reported as students across the country are going back to school.

All students deserve safe, welcoming, supportive school environments where they can learn and thrive without fear. No parent should send his or her child to school and worry that the child may never come home. However, arming teachers is not the solution. Teachers agree, including those who own guns themselves: 74% of teachers surveyed by the National Education Association opposed arming teachers to combat gun violence in schools.

“We wholly reject this proposal to fund the arming of teachers in our children’s classrooms. While we welcome ideas to keep students safe, the Department of Education’s proposal is dangerous and misguided. No teacher should have to carry the responsibility of taking a student’s life in a shootout. Teachers and school administrators should be focused on education, not weapons training. We must invest in solutions to stop violence in our schools before it happens. Our Know the Signs programs have been proven to help students and teachers identify, intervene, and get help for someone at-risk of doing harm and eliminate the need for any weapon to be introduced into the equation,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

Sandy Hook Promise attended the White House listening session with President Trump and Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in February, following the Parkland shooting, and voiced strong concern and opposition to the President’s  suggestion to  arm teachers and staff.

We urge people to call Betsy DeVos’ office to tell her that arming teachers is not a part of a school safety plan. We believe we must ensure that all our students and school systems are trained to know the signs of gun violence and how to properly intervene when they learn someone is a threat to self or others to prevent gun violence before it happens. Know the Signs training should be implemented across every state.

In addition to calling DeVos’ office, below is a list of things everyone can do today to help ensure that all students and communities are safe:

  • Urge your school to adopt the Know the Signs programs
    • Bring our Know the Signs programs to your community or school to teach students and adults how to be “upstanders” by knowing the signs and how to intervene.
  • Ask your legislators to support Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs):
    • An ERPO is state-level legislation that temporarily removes guns from a person deemed to be an imminent risk to themselves or others.
    • This legislation doesn’t infringe on the Second Amendment, and gun rights can be reinstated once the person exhibiting at-risk behaviors is no longer a threat.
  • Make the Promise
    • Join us and Make the Promise to protect children from gun violence.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene and get help for at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation.

For more information, visit or call 203-304-9780.


SOURCE Sandy Hook Promise


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