Regional School Committee Resolution Commits To Common Sense Gun Laws and No Cops In Amherst Schools
By Art Keene
The Amherst Regional School Committee adopted a resolution on “keeping our schools safe” at their meeting on June 9. The resolution is the same one adopted by the Amherst School Committee on June 2 and recognizes the epidemic of gun deaths among children in the U.S. It makes a commitment to not use armed police (“school resource officers”) in Amherst schools and pledges to advocate for “common sense gun laws”. The text of the full resolution follows.
Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Resolution Regarding Keeping Our
Whereas, The Amherst-Pelham Regional School District is responsible for the well being of our students
and for promoting an atmosphere conducive to the mission of our district, which is the academic
achievement of every student learning in a system dedicated to social justice and multiculturalism.
Whereas, firearm-related injuries are the number one cause of death of children and adolescents ages 1 to 19 in the United States
Whereas, the presence of armed school resource officers has not been shown to reduce gun-related incidents or violence in schools but can cause students to feel less safe, can lead to more suspensions and expulsions – particularly of BIPOC students, and can criminalize minor misbehavior
Whereas, student and school safety is enhanced through initiatives that support school climate, including cultivating student social and emotional learning and health, prioritizing non-exclusionary responses to conflict or misbehavior – such as restorative justice practices – and training of all staff in intervening and supporting students in crisis;
So, therefore, let it be resolved that the Regional School Committee commits to the following:
● Indefinitely continuing to not employ the use of school resource officers (SROs) in all of our schools;
● Continuing to prohibit firearms on school grounds and opposing in any way the arming of teachers
● Advocating with state and federal elected officials for common sense gun laws;
● Ensuring the resources are available to continue to provide for mental health supports for students;
● Continuing to provide staff training in mental health first aid as well as in safety protocols, including
lockdowns and shelter-in-place;
● Continuing efforts to create trusting school environments, including the use of restorative justice
● Providing education and resources for families and caregivers around children and teen mental
health and around secure firearm storage.
The Regional School Committee additionally directs the superintendent and their staff to take necessary action to enforce this resolution.
Regional School Committee