NEW YORK — The Chicago Public Schools has proposed new gun restrictions aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of school children, a move that the district’s Superintendent says is necessary because of the city’s “high level of gun violence.”
Superintendent Michelle Rhee announced Thursday that her department will implement a new policy that will require schools to obtain a special permit for each student who is allowed to carry a firearm.
It will also require schools that receive federal grants to conduct background checks on all applicants for their grant funds.
Rhee said the policy will require the district to send letters to parents and students informing them of the changes and will also include a mandatory “trigger warning” on all firearms in the school building.
School security will be tightened as well, Rhee told reporters Thursday morning.
“We are going to go to extraordinary measures to keep our kids safe,” Rhee added.
She said that the policy would require that all students, whether they have a permit or not, be required to carry guns in their school buildings.
RHEA said that students with permits who are allowed to bring firearms into the building would be required by the new policy to wear a “trigger notification” that says, “The person carrying a firearm in the classroom is prohibited from entering or leaving the building.
This warning will be displayed on the firearm to warn students to take precautions.”
The district has been struggling with a high number of shootings in schools and other facilities in recent months, and school shootings have killed at least 13 people.
Rheas plan to address the issue in a “further development plan” in the near future.
She added that the school board will decide on the policy later this year.
Rhea also said that in addition to a mandatory trigger warning, students would be issued two magazines with each student.
R HEA said in a statement that the new “trigger alert” system will be implemented immediately.
The district plans to increase the number of school security cameras and will work with the federal government to deploy more security cameras.
“The Chicago Public School system has a strong safety record,” Rhea said.
“As the district continues to work with local law enforcement to address violence and bullying, I look forward to a productive dialogue and continued improvement.”
R HE A statement from the Chicago Public Safety Department said that “the Chicago Public schools has implemented a policy change to address gun violence in our schools.
Chicago Public safety officers are conducting a review of our policies.
This review is focused on safety and is being conducted by a team of police officers and administrators.
The review will continue to examine the policies, procedures, and training to ensure our school systems remain safe and welcoming places for all students.”
The statement did not specify when the policy changes would take effect.
R WE A spokesperson for Chicago Public Charter Schools said that while the school district will continue its review, the board has not yet received the policy.
The spokesperson said that after reviewing the policy, the district is confident that we will continue as safe and supportive of all students.
“With the new security measures, we have been proactive in training our employees to protect the safety and security of our students and staff,” the spokesperson said.
The Chicago Police Department also released a statement Thursday saying that it is “aware of the pending changes” to its school security protocols.
The statement noted that the department is committed to protecting all of our community members.
“Chicago Public Schools is committed and ready to implement our security protocol changes as soon as we can,” the statement read.
“These are ongoing efforts by the district and its police department to increase safety and reduce crime at our schools.”
The Chicago Teachers Union, which represents many teachers, released a scathing statement Thursday evening saying that the city of Chicago is “not protecting our students, teachers or the communities we serve.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a responsibility to act and address these issues in a timely manner.
We ask for immediate action from the Mayor to ensure that our students are safe and our community is not more vulnerable.”
RHE A spokesperson from the National Education Association, which supports teachers, said that teachers have been calling for the city to adopt policies that “allow our students to carry firearms in classrooms, while the threat of violence is so pervasive in Chicago.
The NRA is also urging the city and state to pass laws that allow schools to use school security to prevent violence.”
Rhe a statement from Chicago Teachers Federation president Barbara Byrd-Bennett said that as a group, the Chicago Teachers union will continue advocating for teachers to have the right to bear arms and to work in peace.
“If we can’t get our voices heard on this issue, then we’re not doing our job,” Byrd-Aunts statement read, adding that she and her colleagues “will continue to fight for a safe, welcoming school for all our students.”
In response to the latest round of school shootings, the city council voted Thursday night to expand the number and types of weapons