September 13, 2022

Representatives Bush, Bowman and 30 Colleagues Urge Federal Agencies to Review and Implement Effective School Safety Measures

Lawmakers argue funding for armed officers in schools is an inadequate gun violence prevention strategy


Washington, DC (September 13, 2022) – In the aftermath of the horrific school shooting that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this past May, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and 30 colleagues are urging the Department of Justice, Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a review of gun violence prevention strategies in schools and establish a comprehensive plan that meets the holistic emotional, health, and safety needs of  all our students. The massacre at Robb Elementary School marks the deadliest U.S. school shooting in nearly a decade, and was at least the thirtieth school shooting in 2022. In their letter, the lawmakers criticize the misguided federal response to increase the scale and scope of law enforcement in schools, and urge our federal agencies to consider public health strategies that are more holistic and proven to be effective in preventing all forms of violence in schools.


“We recognize that even when law enforcement responses are functioning optimally, they cannot prevent atrocities from occurring. To that end, we urge you to break this cycle of violence and recommit to public health and safety strategies that will ensure our schools are safe for all students,” wrote the lawmakers. “This requires thinking comprehensively about violence in our schools to ensure that we prevent violence – by resolving the root causes of conflict that can escalate into violence – not simply remedy its impact. As a starting point, we ask that the Department of Education, in concert with Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice conduct a holistic review of any and all non-punitive, non-law enforcement preventative safety measures currently in schools, the health and safety impacts of such measures, and steps your agencies intend to take to meet the needs of our child and prevent the onslaught of violence we are currently witnessing in our schools.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


Additional co-signers on this letter include Representatives Ro Khanna (CA-17), Mary Scanlon (PA-05), Jesús García (IL-04), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Mark Takano (CA-41), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Alma Adams (NC-12), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Andre Carson (IN-07), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Rashida Tlaib (MI-03), Danny Davis (IL-07), Madeline Dean (PA-04), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Adriano Espillat (NY-13), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Terri Sewell (AL-07), and Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-04).