MISSOURI (KFVS) - Gov. Jay Nixon sent a letter to the superintendents of each of Missouri's 520 public school districts Monday, December 24 affirming his continued top priority to keeping schools safe, and stating his clear opposition to recently introduced legislation that would arm teachers by taking away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of the classroom.
The Governor referenced the Dec. 14 mass shooting of children and educators in Newtown, Conn.:
"As we come together to mourn the loss of these precious lives, we must also come together to ensure we are doing all we can to protect our communities, and especially our schools, from these types of heinous acts."
The Governor said here in Missouri we have a strong framework of laws to protect students and educators, such as the Missouri Safe Schools Act, which passed in 1996. Nixon said current law also allows local school boards to prohibit guns in their classrooms. He said this is a time-tested and solid foundation that we should reinforce, not undermine.
"That is why I have serious concerns about recently introduced legislation that proposes not only to arm teachers, but to do so by taking away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms," Nixon said. "More can and should be done to enhance school safety, but this legislation would put our children at risk and limit the ability of local school districts to keep their schools safe."
He said putting loaded weapons in classrooms is quite simply the wrong approach to a serious issue that demands careful analysis and thoughtful solutions.
The Governor concluded his letter by thanking the superintendents for their commitment to schoolchildren, and told them that in the days and weeks ahead, he would talk with Missourians to find common sense solutions to keep Missouri schools safe.