Democrat lawmakers pushed for legislation that would ban federal funding for police officers in schools and instead hire counselors and social workers.
The bill – labeled the “Counseling Not Criminalization” Act – was introduced in July of 2020 by Democrat Senators Chris Murphy (NJ), Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Tina Smith (MN), along with ‘Squad’ House Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA), Ilhan Omar (MN) and Jamaal Bowman (NY).
The Act states it would “prohibit the use of federal funds for maintaining police in schools.”
A fact sheet from Murphy’s office adds the bill is designed to “help schools hire counselors, social workers, and other support personnel instead of police.”
In 2020, four Democrats, Sens. Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley pushed for legislation to remove police officers from schools and replace them with social workers.
It was called the “Counseling Not Criminalization” Act. pic.twitter.com/UBByfra0gh
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 29, 2022
Defund Police in Schools
The legislation pushed by Democrat lawmakers to defund police in schools was meant to establish a $2.5 billion grant program.
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The funds would “hire the counselors, social workers, nurses, school psychologists, and other personnel they need to support students and create safe schools without police.”
The Washington Post reports that the Uvalde school system’s security plan had a similar ring as it “included school counselors, social workers and special ‘threat assessment teams’ intended to evaluate students who appear to be a threat to themselves or others.”
Even with that system in place they write, “It’s not clear if [the shooter], who had no record of mental illness, had been on the school’s radar.”
Meanwhile, a resource officer, according to the latest reports, was not on the scene when the Uvalde massacre took place and the subsequent police response was severely inadequate, forcing border patrol agents to take down the suspect.
Many school boards around the country held their own votes to remove police from schools.
Democrats are tough on police and tough on personal gun rights. Their policies are killing people.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 29, 2022
Most Passionate About Gun Control
It’s important to note that several of the lawmakers supporting the effort to defund police in schools were the most dramatically outspoken about inaction by Congress following the shooting in Uvalde.
Murphy hammered his Republican colleagues for not passing anti-gun legislation that he maintains – wrongly – would have stopped the shooting.
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate?” Murphy demanded.
“Why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer, as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, (is) we do nothing?”
Senator Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT): “The 14 kids dead in an elementary school in Texas right now. What are we doing? What are we doing? Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons we have another Sandy Hook on our hands.” pic.twitter.com/IALrVON2mV
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 24, 2022
Counselors and social workers could benefit the mental health aspect of troubled kids, but there is also a frontline response that needs to be adequately addressed and funded. The incompetence of the Uvalde response is evidence of that need.
Bowman, as a Squad-by-proxy member, kicked up the rhetoric and, of course, accused Republicans of being responsible for the Uvalde murders.
“Republicans in the Senate helped kill a classroom of children,” he wrote. “This makes 214 mass shootings this year alone – all of which they are complicit in.”
Republicans in the Senate helped kill a classroom of children.
This makes 214 mass shootings this year alone – all of which they are complicit in.
NRA donations are more valuable than lives to them. They must be voted out of office.
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) May 25, 2022
Perhaps Democrats should ask themselves why schools have become easy targets ever since the implementation of the Gun-Free School Zones Act – signed into law in 1990 – rather than make every attempt to defund competent police sources from those institutions.
The legislation has since turned public schools into soft targets for deranged murderers.
Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a bill last month to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act.
“Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. Since 1950, 98 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns,” Massie said.
He added: “Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable.”
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