WH Supports Arming Teachers
The Trump administration on Sunday night proposed providing some school personnel with "rigorous" firearms training and backed a bill to improve criminal background checks on gun buyers, but backpedaled on the idea of increasing the minimum age to buy certain firearms -a policy President Donald Trump had said he would support.
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 commission does not have a set timeline of when it will report its findings, although an official said it would be within one year.
"Today we are announcing meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students," DeVos said Sunday.
The announcement of the commission comes less than a day after Trump criticized blue-ribbon committees at a rally in Pennsylvania, saying, "We can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees," adding that they do nothing but "talk, talk, talk."
Administration officials stressed the necessity of the new commission when asked why Trump said such committees were ineffective, saying there is "very cogent argument for having a commission."
Trump first floated the idea of arming teachers and school officials after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month -- an idea that was met with immediate criticism.
The administration also plans to support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education and will encourage state attorneys general to audit school districts for compliance with state emergency preparedness activities.
The Trump administration also called on states to adopt "extreme risk protection orders," with technical assistance from the Department of Justice. The orders would allow law enforcement officers, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from those who pose a threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.
Trump will direct the Justice Department to provide assistance to states, only at their request, on establishing and implementing the orders, officials said.
Trump is proposing an expansion and overhaul of mental health programs, including those that help identify and treat those who may be a threat to themselves or others, the administration announced.
He is proposing increased integration of mental health, primary care, and family services, as well as support for programs that utilize court-ordered treatment.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team