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New York Republicans unveil their plan for school gun violence

Mar 31, 2023 12:43 am

Nick Reisman reports at New York State of Politics that while some schools in the Capital Region were under lockdown March 30 because of phoned-in fake threats against local schools, State Assembly Republicans unveiled their proposals to make schools safer. Their proposals included adding more school resource officers and addressing mental health concerns, but not reducing the availability of guns. Assemblyperson Josh Jensen, spoke about how to make schools safer from shooters, saying, "Communication is key.... Communication between school administration with staff and parents, communication with law enforcement." The message was a bit mixed, though, as Captain Tracey Quinn of the Greene County Sheriff's Office said the school resource officers the Republicans want do more in other areas than provide safety for students. "I would have to say our SROs act more as counselors to students than they do police officers," Quinn said. Republicans also backed increased mental health help, something most agree is needed throughout society after the COVID-19 pandemic. "A lot of our kids came back after the pandemic and had really lost ground not just academically, but socially," said Assemblyperson Mary Beth Walsh. "I think that needs to be addressed in our schools. Mental health was a concern during the pandemic; it's even greater now." Democrat Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins wants to encourage more retired officers in schools by lifting a cap on retirement income. "I hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle understand there are sensible things they can vote for that would help bolster security," Stewart-Cousins said. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

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