Urge no vote on arming school personnel

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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As co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area (LWVLGA) and under the auspices of the League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL), we are writing to inform your readers about two resolutions before the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Conference in November. The LWVLGA opposes the arming of teachers and other staff in our community's schools. 

This November, the IASB annual conference will consider two recommended resolutions: Resolution No. 1 would provide school boards the option to allow district employees to carry a concealed firearm with qualifications. Resolution No. 3 would create and fund a school safety grant to help assist school districts in the hiring of school resource officers (SROs) or security personnel. SROs would be authorized to carry a firearm providing training is received.

The passage of these resolutions will lead to IASB support of and advocacy for state legislation to arm teachers and school staff across the state. 

The LWVIL believes there is not adequate evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of such proposals. There are many areas of unanswered questions including standards for training, the impact on children and the need to fund social services for at-risk children.  Such concerns must be addressed prior to pursuing these resolutions.

The LWVIL urges members of the community to contact your local School Board and urge a "no" vote on resolutions No. 1 and No. 3 at the IASB Conference in November. 

Ann Lee and Laurie Braun, co-presidents

League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area

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