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Advancement Project National Office Response to Gun Control Bill

WASHINGTON, DC In response to the gun control bill signed into law today, executive director Judith Browne Dianis at Advancement Project National Office issued this statement:

“While there is an urgent need to address gun violence in the United States, policy solutions must aim to create truly safe, supportive and welcoming school environments that protect all students. This bill, among other issues, allocates at least $300 million to expand the school policing infrastructure through increased school hardening and surveillance even though we know police in schools harm students. Black students and other students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students will face increased harm and criminalization as a result. This does not protect students, but instead inflicts further harm.”

Last week, along with a coalition of leaders from civil rights groups, Advancement Project National Office sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer urging them to consider legislation to curb gun violence that puts the emotional, health and safety needs of children in the classroom over punitive policies. It read:

“We must be sure that any action to protect children from gun violence does not include any expansion of measures that have been especially harmful to Black, Latinx, and other students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students. In response to prior tragic mass shootings, states and localities have increased police presence and surveillance, and expanded school hardening measures. The result has been criminalization and physical harm to students and deterioration of learning environments — not an end to mass shootings…

“In this moment, we need solutions that fit the problem and we cannot be distracted by proposals that will only cause more harm to Black children and other students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students. In crafting solutions, we must be clear that the causes of the problem – gun violence – are white supremacist ideologies, racism, and lack of protections from guns. Our policy solutions must protect students not cause more harm, including unintended but well-documented harms.”

You can find the full letter here.

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