SAISD comes out strong for gun control…not armed teachers

SAISD comes out strong for gun control…not armed teachers

In the wake of the Parkland, Fla. shooting that left 17 dead, student activism has drawn a proverbial line in the sand for many districts. Like the (possibly apocryphal) legend from the battle of the Alamo where sand-line-crossing began, the students offer a choice: join our fight, or don’t.

For many adults, this means a careful consideration of how to support students, keep them safe, and resolve their own complicated feelings on gun control.  (For others, it means showing up with posters and asking if they should stand to the side and cheer, or fall in line behind the students.)

While most districts continue to negotiate with soon-to-be or would-have-been student protestors ahead of anticipated walkouts, the board of San Antonio ISD issued a strongly worded resolution leaving no doubt as to its stance on classroom safety. The resolution calls on Congress to strengthen gun control laws and offer more funding to schools for appropriate educational resources. Guns are not among those resources, according to the document.

The district has taken a middle-of-the-road approach to the walkouts, allowing students to gather at assigned campus common areas during the agreed upon period of protest. It has not, like North East ISD, issued statements prohibiting a walkout altogether. SAISD is only asking students to stay on campus. Other districts and schools around the country have made similar allowances, citing student safety concerns.

For some students, such a compromise misses the point, said Sean Rivera, a community organizer with MOVE San Antonio, a youth organizing group. MOVE San Antonio is not directly assisting with the campus walkouts, but it is offering to help students prepare for a March 24 “March for Our Lives,” in solidarity with students around the country. In those discussions, Rivera said, students have mentioned varying levels of campus support or interference.

The SAISD board resolution may embolden some student activists considering the cost of civil disobedience.

While SAISD is the first local district to issue such a statement, district officials expect to see similar statements from other major urban districts in the state and country.

Below is the full text of the resolution:

 

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