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Nutter calls arming school personnel ‘insane’

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Mayor Nutter said today that the NRA’s call for arming school personnel was "insane" and "ludicrous," according to the Inquirer:

That message was an insult to the lives of those children, the mayor said in an interview Friday, referencing the grade schoolers murdered a week ago in Newtown, Ct. That we would face the prospects of shootouts in our schools, and utilize the precious and declining resources in public education to put armed personnel in every school is insane.

The National Rifle Association earlier today called for placing a gun in every school. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said that adding armed guards, not gun control, is the best way to keep schools safe. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said.

The Dignity in Schools Campaign, a human rights group that advocates for safer school polices and alternatives to harsh punitive practices, said in a statement that "we must not let this tragedy result in proposals that are not shown to make schools safer and can lead to terrifying, fatal mistakes."

The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association also renounced the notion of having guns in schools, calling instead for more preventive measures and investment in mental health services.

“Guns have no place in our schools. Period. We must do everything we can to reduce the possibility of any gunfire in schools, and concentrate on ways to keep all guns off school property and ensure the safety of children and school employees.”