As nation recalls Parkland, Gov. Brown may be leading us to repeat their mistakes

Taxpayer Association of Oregon

The nation remembered the Parkland Florida shooting tragedy on the three year anniversary where 14 students and three educators were killed.  President Biden used the occasion to call on Congress to enact tougher gun laws.

The biggest red flags over the Parkland shooting did not come from the shooter’s gun purchase (he passed background check, mental health question) but from his violent school history which was over-looked.   This is also where Gov. Brown has made policy suggestions that takes us in the wrong direction by making us more vulnerable to future school shootings.

Gov. Kate Brown has pledged to reduce school discipline for violent students by “Preventing suspension and expulsion in early learning.” (Governor’s 2021 Proposed Budget, Page 18).  Gov. Brown wants to make it harder for school officials to generally suspend or expel students.  Gov. Brown’s way to address the rise in school violence, bullying, gangs, and sexual harassment is to let the offenders avoid punishment and remain in school for a longer time.

The no-suspension theory is touted as a way to help minorities, but minorities are often the victims of violent students.   A single violent student can destroy the learning environment for the whole class.

In Parkland, Florida, school officials adopted this no-suspension policy, which provided shelter for one of America’s most violent students (Nikolas Cruz) whose threats of rape and murder went unpunished during both middle and high school. He finally snapped and shot and killed 17 students.  The no-suspension and light punishment policy created such a hostile work environment of tolerating disruptive students that half of the district’s teachers said they lived in fear for their safety at school.

As with any tragedy, there is always a complex series of causes and solutions, but in this case, making our schools more lenient on violent behavior will make things worse.

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