Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF SEP. 03, 2018

Bold firearms idea from the U.S. education secretary stirs a debate about safeguarding schools

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
What do you think of the idea? Compose a comment to send your U.S. House representative and senator in a letter, email or tweet.
2.gif
Find any other education news and summarize what you learn.
3.gif
Now look for different coverage involving firearms or school safety. Share two facts or quotes.

An attention-grabbing federal policy proposal sparks fresh discussion about protecting American schools from shootings. The Education Department is considering whether to let states use federal education money to buy guns for educators. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos believes she can approve any state or district request to use Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress bans the move. Officials say they began exploring the possibility after Texas asked whether it could use part of that money for weapons. Texas and at least eight other states let school employees be armed or have access to firearms.

If DeVos' agency proceeds, it would reverse "a longstanding position taken by the federal government that it should not pay to outfit schools with weapons," The New York Times says. "And it would also undermine efforts by Congress to restrict the use of federal funding on guns. As recently as March, Congress passed a school safety bill that allocated $50 million a year to local school districts, but expressly prohibited the use of the money for firearms." A Republican senator, however, is among those who think states and districts deserve flexibility. They should "make the decision about how to use those federal dollars to make schools safer for children," says Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

On the opposite side, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., sponsors a bill to block use of federal dollars for school district weapons purchases. And at the public school level, most reactions are negative. "This is the worst theory of action I've ever heard,” tweets Texas teacher Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year. "None of us are trained to respond to threats in the way law enforcement is." A recent survey by the National Education Association shows 82 percent of the teacher union's members who responded would not carry a gun in school. Two-thirds of educators polled said they'd feel less safe in a school with armed teachers.

DeVos aide says: "The department is constantly considering and evaluating policy issues, particularly issues related to school safety."-- Liz Hill, Education Department spokeswoman

Congressman says: "Redirecting that money to arm teachers and school staff will recklessly endanger the safety of both students and educators, while robbing under-served students of the support and opportunity they deserve." – Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., member of the House Education Committee

Anti-gun activist says: "The voices of those who know best overwhelmingly oppose putting guns in classrooms." -- Jonathan Perloe of Connecticut Against Gun Violence

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2019
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Democrats want investigator Robert Mueller to testify about newly released report on Russian election meddling

Israel keeps its prime minister, who'll soon be its longest-serving leader

As rural hospitals close or struggle, you'll hear more about 'health care deserts'

New federal case: Female stars accuse U.S. Soccer Federation of chronic pay gap and other gender bias

Congress gets summary of special investigator Robert Mueller’s report into 2016 election

Federal case accuses 33 parents and others of cheating to get students into colleges

Medical advance: Promising treatment brings optimism about a cure for HIV/AIDS

Summit setback: North Korea remains a nuclear arms threat despite presidential diplomacy

Students are among news consumers grappling with what’s ‘fake’ and what’s trustworthy

Academy Awards telecast Sunday night will show an industry trying to be more diverse

Complete archive