October 3, 2022
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Why School safety must tackle mental health, not rush to blame guns

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Sens. Mike Wilson, Max Wise and Danny Carroll

Following the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas, state and federal lawmakers are considering policy initiatives to better secure public schools. Among ideas being hotly debated is the addition of armed school resource officers, strengthening security infrastructure on campuses, better addressing youth mental health in schools and even adopting “red flag” gun laws.

With the 24/7 news cycle and the prevalence of social media in our lives, we are too often prisoners of the moment. Justifiably, when unspeakable horrors occur, there is an immediate call to ‘do something… anything, and now!’ However, we must not rush to legislate simply to make us ‘feel’ better. 

A school resource officer at the Marion C. Moore Traditional School on Outer Loop, stands in the high school hallway between classes on Aug. 30, 2019.

Kentucky’s school safety model

We in the Kentucky General Assembly have made a concerted effort to pass effective school safety legislation. We invited all stakeholders to the table and met with local law enforcement, leaders, teachers and parents to receive input. The Kentucky school safety model is one the entire nation can look to as a blueprint. As a matter of fact, other states consistently reach out to us to ask how we were able to successfully collaborate. 



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