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Trump seeks to 'harden' schools against attack
12 March 2018, 01:19 | Jodi Jackson
Trump seeks to 'harden' schools against attack
The proposals, which come more than three weeks after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, also include a plan to establish a commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention, including possible age restrictions on some firearms purchases.
The Department of Justice has been asked to create programs helping schools to partner with state and local law enforcement authorities that can provide training in gun use by those who volunteer to do so.
Lily Eskelsen García, president of the NEA, the teachers lobby, said last month that "bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence". "No student, no family, no teacher and no school should have to live the horror of Parkland or Sandy Hook or Columbine again", she said. "No stone will be left unturned".
"There has been a lot of talk and too little action", DeVos said on a call Sunday.
While the congressman says the recommendations for congressional actions would be "a small, positive first step", he said he believes they are "insufficient". "All topics are open to being addressed on this commission", one official said.
During those meetings, Trump advocated arming certain teachers and school staffers, arguing that gun-free schools are "like an invitation for these very sick people" to commit murder.
An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll taken 26-28 February showed 56% of those polled disagreed with the proposal for teachers to carry guns. The White House also said it would support moving military veterans and retired law enforcement officers into new careers in education. "We are not concerned ... about the NRA here".
"We can't just keep setting up blue ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband, and they meet and they have a meal and they talk", Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.
White House spokesperseon Raj Shah had said earlier Sunday in an interview with ABC's This Week that "the president has been clear that he does support raising the age to 21" and that that would be a "component" of the announcement.
As part of the effort, the administration will also conduct a full audit and review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tip line, which failed to keep the alleged Parkland shooter from acquiring guns.
White House proposals to tackle the threat of mass shootings in U.S. schools fall short of a call by President Donald Trump himself to raise the age limit for buying assault rifles.
The U.S. Justice Department has submitted a regulation that would make the devices illegal to own or sell, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. Bump stocks were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, which took place in October in Las Vegas.
Shah avoided answering whether the White House will call for universal background checks, which President Donald Trump has said he would support, and instead spoke about improving the current background check system. "Americans expecting real leadership to prevent gun violence will be disappointed and troubled by President Trump's risky retreat from his promise", said Avery Gardiner, the group's co-president.
The White House reiterated its support for two pieces of legislation being considered by Congress: the Fix NICS Act, which would penalize federal agencies that fail to report relevant criminal records, and the STOP School Violence Act, which would provide new funding for school safety programs.
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