Last week’s devastating hate crime against the children and staff at Covenant Christian School in Nashville, TN, was yet another reminder how important it is to ensure the safety of our students and the staff at our schools around the nation. Our hearts are broken after another senseless and preventable school shooting in America. We know for fact that the shooter targeted the Christian school in Nashville because of its lack of security. In the last few years schools across the country, often led by state lawmaking, have defunded their safety resource officers (SRO), removing them from schools altogether. This makes our schools less safe and easier targets for violent criminals.
Here in Washington, Representative Jim Walsh sponsored a House Bill 1071 this session that would provide funding for each school in the state to have a SRO. Washington lawmakers had an opportunity this session to move forward HB 1071 but the bill never made it out of committee – it had a public hearing but was never given a vote. Citizens overwhelmingly supported this bill and CLW testified in the public hearing in support.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE!! The legislature is still in session and the leaders can move this bill forward. It needs a hearing in the Appropriations Committee and then a floor vote. We’re asking Speaker of the House, Laurie Jinkins to move this bill to Appropriations immediately. We must protect our students and this is a great place to start!
Please send Speaker Jinkins an email NOW asking her to move HB 1071 to appropriations for a hearing.
“In light of the recent school shooting in Nashville, I am asking you to take action this session to protect our Washington students. HB 1071 would put a SRO in every Washington school. We know that violent criminals target locations where they know security is minimal and it is easy to reach their targets. Our gun-free zone schools with little to no security make our children easy targets for mass shootings. If you are truly committed to protecting our citizens and reducing the acts of violence committed with guns, you must move this bill forward.
Please move HB 1071 to a hearing in the Appropriations Committee. Washington citizens overwhelmingly support this bill and now is a perfect time to restore confidence in the people of Washington that our lawmakers DO want to protect our youngest, most vulnerable citizens.”
Additional information about SRO’s in schools:
Surveys of educators, students, officers, and community members suggest that school-based law enforcement programs are popular and perceived as effective. Respondents report that officers can do the following:
Increase feelings of safety among students, teachers, and administrators
Deter aggressive behavior, and empower staff to maintain order and address behavioral issues in a timely fashion
Diminish classroom time spent on discipline and behavioral disruptions
Improve school safety and reduce school-based crime
Increase the likelihood that students report witnessing a crime, and help reduce community-wide criminality
Improve relationships between law enforcement and youth.
You can also use our call to action to send your representatives a message asking them to support HB 1071 and protect our kids!
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