Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 18
School Shootings Reverberate on Capitol Hill
By Andrew Ujifusa
& Denisa R. Superville
The deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., continues to reverberate
on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers-particular some from Florida-hear from
school officials, educators, and students about ways to secure schools
and empower students and staff
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, also
used one such event last week to tout
their support for having the federal
government offer states incentives
to adopt "red flag" laws that prevent
those who represent a threat to themselves or others from accessing or purchasing guns, while preserving legal
protections for those individuals.
Last month, the two introduced a
bill to this effect, the Extreme Risk
Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act, after the Parkland shooting.
At that same school safety forum,
advocates and public officials also emphasized the importance of communication to make it easier for students to
share their concerns with adults and
to help law enforcement respond to
violent incidents more quickly.
Nicole Hockley, whose son was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary
School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012,
highlighted the "Start With Hello"
training program that helps children
communicate with each other about
their difficulties. The program is run
by Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit
group led by Hockley that works to
prevent children from violence. "It
sounds so simple. But the best programs are," Hockley said at the April
18 event. And Indiana officials attending the session pointed to a school
that's become a model for new security
measures, from bullet-resistant classroom doors to smoke bombs that can
fill a hallway and disorient a school
shooter. (The latter clocks in at a cost of
$400,000.) Indiana Attorney General
Curtis Hill said the state has emphasized "what we can do to harden our
schools, but not make them a prison."
In expressing interest in creating national school safety standards,
Rubio pointed to the Americans With
Disabilities Act that created national
building standards to address the
needs of people with disabilities. While
he said the analogy to gun violence
and school safety isn't perfect, "It's
an indication of where federal policy
could help over time."
Nelson praised the "courageous"
students and other activists who have
pushed for new gun-control measures
and safer schools. He said he was focused on "trying to get stuff done that
we can get done in a bipartisan way."
Outlets for Students
Like Hockley, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes stressed that officials
must ensure students have outlets to
"A compelling meditation on learning,
human potential, and the power of
the human spirit."
-John Merrow, former PBS NewsHour education correspondent
and author of Addicted to Reform
share their concerns with people in
authority so that ultimately law enforcement can respond quickly.
Students in Utah can use the Safe
UT app, commissioned by the University of Utah, to report possible threats
to themselves or others. The app is
monitored around the clock by mental-health professionals, who can then
triage the reports and notify police
when appropriate. In February, more
than two dozen tips about potential
threats were reported using the app,
the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Others, however, spoke about the
need for broader cultural changes to
help children feel supported. Ryan
Petty, whose daughter Alaina was
murdered at Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High in Parkland, spoke
about the "contagion" effect that can
lead one school shooting to lead to further violent incidents.
"I think we can put an antibiotic
together" to help stop this, said Petty.
He added that helping students contemplating suicide would be especially
useful in keeping children and their
school peers safe.
An 'Unfunded Obligation'
Just a day before that session,
school and district leaders who've experienced the trauma and devastation
of school shootings offered additional
suggestions for Congress and other
elected officials during a panel on
school safety hosted by the National
Association of Secondary School Principals. The principals and superintendents shared their experiences leading
schools after shootings, what worked
in their communities and the needs
that still linger.
Dale Marsden is the superintendent of the school district in San
Bernardino, Calif., where two terrorists killed 14 people about two
miles from a district elementary
school in 2015, and where, in 2017,
the estranged husband of a special
education teacher shot and killed his
wife along with an 8-year-old boy at
North Park Elementary School.
The district received $69,000
from Project SERV, a federal grant
to help districts and schools recover
from traumatic events, after the
North Park shooting, but so far, the
district has spent more than $5 million on school safety, training, mental health support, and on facilities,
"School safety has now become our
district's largest unfunded obligation,"
The call for increasing the Project
SERV grant was repeated by George
Roberts, who was principal of Perry
Hall High School in Maryland's Baltimore County where one student shot
another student in the cafeteria on
the first day of school in 2012. Nearly
six years later, teachers still call him
whenever there is another school
shooting in the U.S., Roberts said.
Roberts said there needs to be
more programs to support educators
in the aftermath of a shooting. One
such program could fund a "quick
response" team that would reach
out to principals and district leaders to provide guidance on what to
expect and how to rebuild a positive
climate and supportive school culture after a shooting.
Principals and superintendents
who've experienced school shootings
already do this informally.
"We are not trained as first responders, we are trained as educators," he
Marsden also floated the need for
a central state agency in charge of
A large district with about 50,000
students, San Bernardino had many
of the resources in place that it needed
to help recover, he said. But he imagines that it would be much more difficult for a small district to navigate
a shooting and the aftermath without
any services from state agencies.
And Marsden said there is a role for
the federal government to play in ensuring that there is an agency at the
state level that would provide help to
districts after a school shooting, similar to the way the Federal Emergency
Management Agency springs into action after a disaster.
"When you have an incident at a
school site, there needs to be a mechanism that deploys resources," he said.
Warman Hall, the principal of Aztec
High School in New Mexico, where
two students were killed when a
former student entered the school
last December and started shooting,
called for more money through Title
IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act
to help districts with school safety and
mental health training.
In the months since the shooting,
there have been multiple offers in
the community to help with counseling, but he said there is a dearth of
mental health providers in the community, he said.
Working With Police
He's a big proponent of making
it easier for law enforcement officers and schools to collaborate-on
training for school shooting exercises
and for law enforcement to be able
to use the schools for such training.
And he thinks that collaboration between schools and local emergency
management should be a factor in
funding for the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, or FEMA.
Hall also said that law enforcement officials-from the Federal
Bureau of Information to local law
enforcement-should be able to sit
down with school officials to talk
about potential threats in the community and that school officials
should be able to go to law enforcement about concerns that may require a police response.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida
Democrat whose district includes
Parkland, where a former student
killed 17 people in a high school massacre on Feb. 14, gave credit to the
students from Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School and the movement they ignited after their school
He ticked off the list of legislative
changes related to guns and school
safety that have been made both in
Florida and in Washington since the
students started their advocacy.
And Billy Wermuth, a student at
North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pa., who serves on the NASSP's
Student Leadership Advisory Committee, echoed the sentiment.
"We hope policymakers will be
open to hearing us if not because of
our ideas, but because four million
of my peers will turn 18 before the
November elections," he said.
Policy Talk With Federal Spec. Ed. Chief
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
action is needed so that parents understand their rights
and responsibilities if they accept private school vouchers.
"Hands down the best book on education that
I've read in a very long time. Read it and act!"
-Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap
and Creating Innovators
I'm committed to learning about those recommendations
and working with the secretary to figure out what's the
most appropriate way for the department to address those.
And that work's ongoing, here within OSERS. We said we
would review the information, in those states [the] GAO
reviewed, and that work is continuing.
Collett, who came to this position with state-level experience, laid out his vision for the federal role.
Only use blue and/or white.
For more details check out our
18 | EDUCATION WEEK | April 25, 2018 | www.edweek.org
APRIL 17, 2018
DO NOT PRINT THIS INFORMATION
We work every day to support states around improving
childhood education along with employment outcomes,
and raising expectations. I'm so glad that our mission
talks about both of those. One without the other isn't
I am committed to implementing the laws for which we
have oversight, here within OSERS, and we will do that.
So compliance matters. But one of the things we know is
while compliance is critical, it by itself is insufficient to
improve outcomes for kids. So we rightly made a shift to
think about both compliance and outcomes.
I don't want us to get lost in thinking our primary focus
is on compliance. On the other hand, I don't want us to
swing it onto the other side and say that our primary
focus is on some preconceived one-size-fits-all notion of
what an outcome ought to be for each kid.
Either one of those gets us in the ditch. So if I'm driving
in southeast Kentucky, where I grew up, it doesn't matter if
I'm in the lefthand ditch or the righthand ditch, I'm off the
road, right? What we want to be is on the road. So our focus
is on the individual. Guess what happens when you do that?
When you focus on the individual, then what you get to see
is compliance, and outcomes are in service to him, or to her.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - April 25, 2018
Education Week - April 25, 2018
Facing Hard Facts on College and Career
School Choice Proves Scarce in ESSA Plans
After a Shooting in Her Classroom, Teacher Re-evaluates School Safety
Pension Woes Have Teachers On Front Lines
News in Brief
Discipline Gaps—and Ways to Close Them —Get Scrutiny
Parents Lash Out at District Over Shooting
Arizona Teachers Set to Strike Over School Funding and Pay
Schools With Confederate Ties Slowly Shed Their Names
U.S. Students Surprise on New Exam Of Online Reading
NAEP: Gaps Widen Between High Fliers And Low Scorers
Ed. Dept. Policing ESSA Assessment Rule On Special Education
Federal Special Ed. Chief Aims to Foster Partnership
School Shootings Reverberate On Capitol Hill
Ian Rowe: What NAEP Scores Aren’t Telling Us
In Conversation John Urschel: From the NFL to MIT
Rebecca Kolins Givan & Pamela Whitefield: Teacher Pay Isn’t the Whole Story
Thomas Toch: 35 Years After ‘A Nation at Risk,’ Education Is Still Going in the Wrong Direction
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Pension Woes Have Teachers On Front Lines
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 2
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Contents
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Report Roundup
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 5
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Discipline Gaps—and Ways to Close Them —Get Scrutiny
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Arizona Teachers Set to Strike Over School Funding and Pay
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Schools With Confederate Ties Slowly Shed Their Names
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 9
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 10
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 11
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - U.S. Students Surprise on New Exam Of Online Reading
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - NAEP: Gaps Widen Between High Fliers And Low Scorers
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 14
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 15
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 16
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Federal Special Ed. Chief Aims to Foster Partnership
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - School Shootings Reverberate On Capitol Hill
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 19
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 20
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 21
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - In Conversation John Urschel: From the NFL to MIT
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Rebecca Kolins Givan & Pamela Whitefield: Teacher Pay Isn’t the Whole Story
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 24
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 25
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 26
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 27
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Letters
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW1
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW2
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW3
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW4