Excel Academy South Students Lobby Against Arming Classroom Teachers
A group of students from Excel Academy South in Philadelphia learned a lesson in political engagement this week. Reacting to the ongoing school shootings around the nation, 30 high school students rode to the state capital of Harrisburg and held meetings with several members of the state legislature to voice their opposition to a bill which would authorize the arming of classroom teachers. Senate Bill 383 passed the Pennsylvania Senate last year and is now being considered by the House of Representatives.
History teacher Jefferson Berry was behind the initiative. He developed a partnership with a group called CeaseFire PA, which advocates for rational gun laws.
“I would like to thank Jefferson Berry for setting the trip up and creating partnerships with the community. This is a great opportunity for our students to expand their knowledge of the political system and goes hand-in-hand with Mr. Berry’s Social Science classroom,” said Excel executive director Jarrad Muller.
Mr. Berry as well as students were interviewed by TV reporters as they began their trip.
Student Felicitie Comers commented to 6ABC about the proposal to arm teachers, “I definitely don’t think that’s a solution. If anything that makes an even bigger problem, because at that point if teachers are bringing guns, there might be some students that feel as though they should be armed with guns. We’re here for an education, not to be target practice.”
Last Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas in which 10 people were killed and 13 injured – was the 22nd school shooting this school year.
While there are opinions on both sides of this issue across Pennsylvania, students at Excel seem strongly opposed to arming teachers.