The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution at its regular meeting this week calling for greater efforts nationally and statewide to prevent gun violence in schools. Below is the full text of the approved resolution.
WHEREAS, all students deserve safe environments where they can learn without fear of gun violence; and
WHEREAS, no parents should send their children to school fearing they may never come home; and
WHEREAS, more than 150,000 American students have experienced a school shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999; and
WHEREAS, from Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Parkland, the lives of hundreds of students and school employees have been lost to the plague of gun violence; and
WHEREAS, among high-income nations, 91 percent of children under 15 years old and 92 percent of youth between 15 and 24 years old who have been killed by guns lived in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the mass murder of students, teachers and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was committed using a legally purchased assault rifle originally engineered for soldiers to rapidly, efficiently and at great distances kill large numbers of opposing soldiers in war; and similar weapons were used in mass murders in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Sutherland Springs, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; and more; and
WHEREAS, American school children necessarily spend increasingly more time participating in active shooter drills, which create significant anxiety among students and teachers and detract from classroom learning; and
WHEREAS, America’s students – led by the courageous young people of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida – are now leading the charge to prevent further tragedy; and
WHEREAS, the responsibility for preventing gun violence in schools cannot be relegated to school districts alone;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Long Beach Unified School District supports commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence in American schools, including banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and other accessories that circumvent the ban on automatic firearms, increasing the ages at which people may buy various categories of weapons, implementing more effective background checks, requiring the registration and licensing of guns similar to the registration and licensing of cars, closing loopholes in the sales of guns at gun shows and online, and other vetting processes;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board supports legislation at the state and national levels to fund data-gathering and scientific research on the causes and prevention of gun violence;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board supports finding methods to combat the stranglehold that gun manufacturers and the broader gun lobby have on policy in this arena, and such methods may include supporting further divestment of pension funds from the gun industry;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board opposes counterproductive and dangerous ideas like arming teachers;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board supports students, from Parkland to Long Beach and everywhere between, who demonstrate leadership by calling for state legislative and Congressional action on this issue, and that this Board will listen to local students and amplify their voices to more effectively fight this scourge.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands on this 7th day of March, 2018.