Candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, took initiative when he heard the controversial proposal by Betsy DeVos to allow federal funding critical for students to be used to purchase guns for classrooms. Thurmond immediately coordinated a town hall to hear feedback from folks in the community.
As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos again suggested arming teachers in schools using federal funds, local gun safety experts and educators in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday night advocated getting guns out of schools.
Last week a 14-year-old freshman fired a gun inside Balboa High School in San Francisco.
Last month, a 16-year-old was shot and killed near a high school in Fairfield. The school was put on lockdown.
“It affects every American in every community in every town in every household,” said high school senior Corinna Basch.
In Oakland, a panel of students, educators and gun violence prevention groups brainstormed what to do about it.
“We have become desensitized to gun violence and have normalized shootings in our schools,” Oakland Unified School District Chief of Equity Chris Chatmon told the audience.
“Our kids get put on lockdown because there’s guns in the neighborhood. There is nothing good that comes from guns,” said Rosina Keren, a counselor with the Berkeley Unified School District.
“Tonight got started when it was announced that the federal government was thinking about using federal education dollars to arm teachers with guns,” said Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond.