CEC’s Director of Policy and Advocacy provided comment on Wednesday, June 6, at the Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) public Listening Session held at the U.S. Department of Education Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The purpose of the Listening Session was to gather information from stakeholders, experts and the public on how schools, districts, institutions of higher education and other local and state government agencies can improve school safety. “CEC urges the Commission to develop school safety policies and meaningful actions not only to address violence in our nation’s schools and communities but to create evidence – based solutions that are rooted in safety, prevention and an interdisciplinary approach,” said Deborah Ziegler, CEC Director of Policy and Advocacy. She also shared with the Commission that CEC strongly opposes arming teachers and other school personnel in schools. This Listening Session is the first of four followed by three other listening sessions to be held in other regions of the country. Dates and locations are to be determined.
President Trump established the Commission on March 12, 2018, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Commission has been charged with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations and best practices to keep students safe at school. In addition to Secretary DeVos, Chair, the Commission includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
CEC along with other education and community groups have expressed concerned about the lack of transparency of the Commission to date, comprised solely of political appointees and the absence of expert stakeholders from education or the broader state and local community as members of the Commission. Sadly, Secretary DeVos and the other three members of the Commission were not present to hear comments at the first listening session. Four representatives from each agency were present to listen to the comments.
The Federal Commission on School Safety is accepting “recommendations on how to increase school safety” at Safety@ed.gov. CEC has submitted written comments to the Commission and encourage you to submit comments. Please share your submitted comments to the Commission with CEC at email@example.com. The Commission needs to hear your voice!