For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Chandler
Thursday, July 28, 1994
SENATE APPROVES PLAN TO MAKE SCHOOLS GUN FREE
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States Senate today approved an
amendment co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Byron
Dorgan (D-ND) to make all public schools in America gun free.
The Senators proposed an amendment to the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act to require any school district that receives
federal funds to adopt a "gun free" school policy and expel any student
who carries a gun on school grounds for one year. The amendment was
accepted by the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and the
legislation is now part of the education bill now on the floor of the
Senate. It will become law when the President signs the education bill.
"How can we expect our children to learn if they go to school
fearing they will be shot and killed?" Senator Feinstein said.
"Each day, an estimated 100,000 students bring guns to school.
Thirty-two of the 44 largest school districts in the country now use
metal detectors to keep guns off campus. In a poll of three California
high schools, 22 percent of the students admitted they had carried a
weapon to school. A 16-year-old said: 'There's nothing we can do. Crime
has overpowered the law.'
"With school violence increasing, the American Federation of
Teachers has voted that children who carry guns to school should be
expelled, and I totally agree.
"To make our schools safe, I co-sponsored, along with Senator
Byron Dorgan (Democrat of North Dakota), a very straight-forward
amendment to the Senate's $12 billion education bill. It provides that
if a school district wants federal money it must have a policy to expel
any student who brings a gun on campus for one year. There is
some flexibility built into the legislation for school legislators to
make specific exemptions. Under this legislation, every school in
America that accepts federal education dollars would have a zero
tolerance policy for guns in school," Senator Feinstein said.
"No guns on campus works, as it has in Los Angeles where firearms
incidents decreased 14 percent. Now this program will strengthen the Los
Angeles and state law so our youngsters can learn in safety," the Senator
"Making schools gun free is just part of the mosaic of efforts --
at home, at school, and in the community -- to reduce violence. The
Crime Bill, the toughest in our history and passed by a Senate-House
conference committee, complements the gun-free policy by providing $100
million for drug and gang prevention programs, $3 billion for programs
such as military-style boot camps for first-time offenders, and $8.9
billion over five years to put 100,000 more police on our streets.
Senators Feinstein and Dorgan successfully added a similar
amendment to the Goals 2000 education initiative passed by the Senate
earlier this year; however, that bill only impacts a limited number of
schools in a limited number of states. The legislation approved today
will impact nearly every school district in America.
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