Scroll down to meet our new graphic artist, Michele Sager!
*Update: Two judicial redistricting bills, HB 1037 and SB 757, are scheduled for a final House vote today. HB 514, allowing four towns near Charlotte to start their own charter schools, passed the Senate and heads back to the House for a final vote. More here.
Arming trained teachers
The NC House's School Safety Committee started work in mid-March and has proposed a number of bills for consideration. One controversial bill will be introduced in the House today: House Bill (HB) 1039, the School Self-Defense Act. This bill would "authorize certain members of the faculty or staff or a school to carry a handgun on the school grounds to respond to acts of violence or an imminent threat of violence." This new bill comes after three Republican state legislators filed a bill in the Senate in late May that would set aside $9 million for Senate Bill (SB) 756, the School Security Act of 2018. SB 756 would offer a 5 percent salary boost to up to 3,000 teachers who complete the state's training programs and become school resource officers (which entails carrying a gun). SB 756 is sitting in the Senate Rules Committee.
Elon University recently conducted a poll to find out what NC teachers think about guns in schools and found that 78% think that arming teachers is a bad idea. Read a summary here and the full report here. Gun rights groups enthusiastically support bills such as these, believing that they will make schools safer.
National and State Mottos in Schools
The House K-12 Education Committee plans to consider HB 965, National and State Mottos in Schools Act, today. It would require local boards of education to adopt policies requiring that (among other things):
- the US and NC flags be displayed in every classroom, when available
- the national ("In God We Trust) and state ("To Be Rather Than to Seem") mottos be displayed in at least one prominent place in every school
- the Pledge of Allegiance be recited daily in each classroom
- age-appropriate instruction on the meaning and history of the flag and Pledge be provided.
Read more from the News & Observer and a Christian leader who does not support this bill. HB 965 is an early step in an organized effort by Project Blitz "to do for Christian nationalism what ALEC does for big business." Read more about this at Religion Dispatches.
What do you think about arming trained teachers and putting "our country's religious heritage" in schools? Let your NC legislators know, find them here.
Our graphic artist, Eunice Chang, has help! We welcome Michele Sager to our team. Michele is a graphic designer - she sees visually what people say. She creates both print design and digital design. When not working, Michele spends time with her wife, Joyce, and her dog and playmate, Eva. She loves listening to audio books, drawing and coloring, and she's a sports fanatic. Michele's first graphics appeared yesterday and today, we're glad she's here!