“We must get serious about protecting our kids as a nation.”- Arne Duncan

One former federal education official criticizes plans to arm teachers and “harden” classrooms when some sections of the country have already returned to school and others are just around the horizon.

This fall, classes are starting in a dangerous setting. Districts are struggling to locate competent teachers due to a continuous teacher shortage, and a rise in the sales of bulletproof backpacks reflects the growing concern over mass shootings. One county in North Carolina has equipped its classrooms with AR-15 guns because the level of anxiety is so high there.

Arne Duncan, a former U.S. secretary of education, deemed it a “terrible idea” to arm teachers. Duncan served under former President Barack Obama.

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On “NewsNation Prime” on Sunday, Duncan stated, “It’s beyond heartbreaking.” “We value our guns more than we value our children.”

Early this year, a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 students and two teachers dead. This shooting reignited the discussion surrounding school security measures. After the incident, Congress passed the most comprehensive anti-gun violence legislation since the 1990s.

School districts are improving security with improved fences, door locks, and extra cops on staff. According to Duncan, there is only so much that schools can do to “harden” their structures.

Duncan stated, “You can’t harden arrival time, harden dismissal, harden recess, and you can’t harden sporting events.” “We must get serious about protecting our kids as a nation.”

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Duncan explained the shortage of teachers and bus drivers at the school’s low salaries and a lack of support from state officials. States could use COVID relief funds, according to the current secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, to compensate for the shortages.

Duncan stated, “Using those COVID dollars is a great way to help teachers.” “We should be paying teachers a lot more.”

Duncan said it would take a coordinated and unified effort to address the various issues that schools face.

He declared, “This is nation-building labour.” “We can overcome this if we can support and aid one another. We all rely on one another.”

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