White House Plan: 'Rigorous' Gun Training for Teachers

Proposals are too NRA-friendly, critics say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2018 2:19 AM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at a news conference following a visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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(Newser) – The new White House plan to prevent school shootings doubles down on arming teachers but backs away from gun control measures. The new Justice Department program announced Sunday includes help for states to provide "rigorous firearms training" to teachers and support for military veterans and retired cops who want to become teachers, Politico reports. The administration says Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will chair a Federal Commission on School Safety that will look into issues including mental health programs, background checks, school discipline programs, violent video games, and the impact of press coverage, the Washington Post reports.

The administration, which says President Trump has made school safety a priority after last month's mass shooting in Florida, is also urging states to pass risk-protection orders that will make it easier to take guns away from dangerous individuals. "Today we are announcing meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students," DeVos told reporters Sunday night. But the White House proposals were slammed for failing to include Trump's earlier proposal to raise the age limit for buying assault weapons from 18 to 21, the AP reports. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described the plan as "tiny baby steps designed not to upset the NRA, when the gun violence epidemic in this country demands that giant steps be taken."

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