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Republicans continue their trend of playing politics with school safety, reject amendments to keep all students safe at school

The NC House voted today on a school safety omnibus bill, but the bill failed to make it to its 3rdand final reading today because Republicans rejected two amendments to the bill that would have improved safety at school for all children.

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield proposed an amendment that would have added “cultural diversity” to the short list of things which school resource officers (SROs) must be specially trained on. Jeff Elmore was the only Republican to vote in favor of the amendment though a few were absent and three chose not to vote. The amendment failed, but earned support from every Democrat present.

A 2018 study found that putting more police in schools doesn’t make them safer and found that the state needs to evaluate and change the “philosophy on policing in schools.” Adding cultural diversity to the list of required trainings for SROs seems like an important step in addressing one piece of the study’s findings-that Black and Latinx students feel discriminated against by officers and less safe in their presence.

An additional amendment to create a study on youth gun violence was blocked by the Speaker. The NRA is notorious for working hard to stifle gun violence research. The NRA has a history of supporting NC Republicans in order to influence policy.

Last session Republicans voted down amendments that would have blocked domestic abusers from obtaining guns.