SRO: White and green sign that says Campus Security.

Georgia SROs Divided on Whether Teachers Should Be Armed

“Stay behind this line,” said an elementary school teacher preparing students for a school drill. “I’ll grab some dark paper to cover the window, and don’t forget students, absolutely no talking.”

Retired NYPD Officers Propose Arming 500 To Protect Schools

NEW YORK — It’s a frigid morning on Staten Island’s South Shore, with the temperature struggling to crack 20 degrees as a stiff wind buffets the Eltingville neighborhood. The elementary school students showing up at P.S. 55 are cocooned in puffy jackets, gloves and hats as they jump out of warm cars and onto the sidewalk towing large backpacks, some adorned with the face of Justin Bieber, others with the logo of the New York Giants. Amidst an ongoing school bus strike, it’s a fairly orderly scene on this Tuesday. Parents drive up to the curb, let their children out and move on to the rest of the day. Directing traffic, and gently scolding the occasional parent who pulls a U-turn on Koch Boulevard, is Mike Reilly, a former New York City police lieutenant who is a few days shy of his 40th birthday.

Juvenile Court Judges Latest to Express Concern over Armed Security in Schools

Youth advocates have worked to reduce police involvement in school discipline

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is voicing concern over the push to put armed police or guards into American schools following the Newtown school massacre of 20 first-graders and six staff last December. On Tuesday, the Reno, Nev.-based group posted an excerpt of a letter sent to Vice President Biden, who has been leading a month-long effort to gather ideas for more effective gun restrictions and improved school safety. The White House is reportedly poised to reveal some recommendations Wednesday at a midday press conference. In its letter to Biden, the NCJFCJ expressed strong misgivings about the prospect of communities putting armed guards in schools – which could become even more likely if federal dollars are offered to help schools make that choice. Published reports indicated Biden’s task force was considering such a plan, which has also been pushed by Sen. Barbara Boxer, a liberal Democrat from California.

$50,000 to Bring Technology to the Classroom

The Entertainment Software Association Foundation awards grants up to $50,000 to provide programs and services utilizing computer or video game software to educate students between the ages of 7 and 18. To be eligible:

– Must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit. – Seek funding for a project that will be implemented nation-wide, or at least in two or more states. – Serve youth between the ages of 7 and 18. – Provide programs or services that utilize technology to educate.

Gara LaMarche Says Time Is Right to End “Zero Tolerance” in Schools

It is too early to know whether the current wave of school reforms will lead to lasting improvements in student achievement. But it is not too early to note that many of these reforms have a troubling consequence: a doubling-down on harsh, ineffective zero-tolerance discipline policies. All too often, the debate about school reform has wrongly emphasized pushing troubled children out of school, rather than making systemic improvements so that all students have the support they need to learn. For that reason, advocates nationwide are embracing efforts to improve school climate. School leaders are recognizing the ineffectiveness of zero tolerance.

Benjamin Chambers on Reducing School Violence and Suspensions with Restorative Justice

The bad news: recent research indicates that schools suspend far more kids than they need to, and youth – especially youth of color, though not always — suffer unfairly for it. The good news? Sure, zero-tolerance school discipline policies need revision. But there’s another solution to the problem: changing school culture by implementing mediation and “restorative justice” techniques in schools. First, the background.

Should Teachers Carry Concealed Guns in School?

Most people would call this a terrible idea that’s fraught with danger.  But a Nebraska lawmaker has just filed a bill to give school districts the option of allowing teachers to carry concealed guns.  State Sen. Mark Christensen says teachers with gun permits and proper training might deter a tragedy. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, this idea follows two school shootings in the last three weeks:

An Omaha high school senior killed an assistant principal and wounded a principal, before shooting himself. A Los Angeles student with a gun in her book bag accidentally wounded two other kids. The only school system in the country that has a concealed weapons policy is in rural Harrold, Texas.  School Superintendent David Thweatt says police in his county are 30 minutes away, and his tiny school system cannot afford School Resource Officers.   Their policy requires extensive training, and the use of certain types of bullets that cut down on ricochet and collateral damage. Forty-three states, including Georgia, prohibit guns in K-12 schools.  And the idea of arming teachers  is not popular with experts.  School security consultant Ken Trump warns that concealed weapons would not make schools safer.  Daniel Vice from the Brady Center says guns in the classroom would be extremely dangerous and the risk of accidents is too high.

Steve Reba: Enter the Pipeline

The thirteen-year-old sat at the defense table with his mother.  The school principal, serving as prosecutor and the district’s sole witness, occupied the table to their left.  Three administrators from other district schools stared down from their elevated bench. Sitting with the tribunal, indistinguishable in both presence and role, was the hearing officer. When the boy’s mother attempted to ask the principal a question, he would invoke his role as prosecutor.  When the inquiry was directed at the hearing officer, he would explain that he was not a witness.

Early Warning System For Kids At Risk

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform is looking for six school districts nationwide to develop and test College Readiness Indicator Systems. The goal is to identify students in danger of dropping out of high school as early as the 9th grade. Researchers plan to create an early warning system using attendance patterns, grades, suspensions and other factors to predict which students are on track, and get help for students who are at risk of dropping out. The project is funded by a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Each school will also work with the John Gardner Center at Stanford University to focus on college and career readiness. Contact the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University:  401-863-7990