A bipartisan coalition of Senators are said to be working together on possible ways forward on gun reform legislation in the wake of the tragic elementary school shooting in Texas. One of the proposals floated by Republican lawmakers is to “harden” schools by providing money for more security resources, law enforcement officers, or even arming teachers.
As Politico notes, during a daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated President Biden does not believe the path forward involves hardening schools.
“I know there’s been conversation about hardening schools, that is not something he believes in,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a White House press conference. “He believes that we should be able to give teachers the resources to be able to do their job.”
In 2019, Texas passed a law that was supposed to enhance school security, but some schools didn’t receive enough state money to make enhancements, and school districts either didn’t have an active shooting plan. The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District even doubled its security budget, but couldn’t stop the shooting. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) stated he was “open” to the idea of hardening schools in talks, but Democrats have adamantly opposed arming teachers.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other GOP lawmakers have advocated making one entry point in schools and stated there are “too many entrances and too many exits to our more than 8,000 campuses in Texas.” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for “serious funding” to install bulletproof doors and locking classrooms. However, some have pushed back on the flawed sense of thinking, limiting the ways for so many students to enter and exit. The exterior door that the shooter entered at Robb Elementary School is reported to have not been locked when shut by a teacher.
“Let’s say you had a high school that had 3,000 students, and you’re going to use one entry point to bring those students into that building every day,” Avera said. “That’s going to literally double the amount of time it takes to get folks in that building.”