WASHINGTON, DC – After President Trump reiterated his proposal to arm 20 percent of U.S. public school teachers and educators, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today issued the following statement:

“We ask a lot of our teachers and they have a tough enough job as it is. Flooding schools with deadly weapons will only make that job tougher. Instead of arming teachers, President Trump should stand up to the NRA and work with Congress to prevent school shootings in the first place. We can do that with commonsense measures like strengthening background checks and reinstating the assault weapons ban. And we should dedicate more resources to fixing our schools and ensuring all kids can go to school in a safe and positive learning environment. And we can help teachers do their jobs by supporting them and giving them the training to help reach kids in the classroom.

“The federal government needs to partner with local and state government when it comes to fixing schools, and I’m working on a bipartisan basis to include school infrastructure as part of the infrastructure bill. We need modern, safe, well-equipped schools in order for this generation to meet the challenges of the future: social, environmental, economic, and global. It’s the right thing to do and it will lead to a brighter future for students, communities, and our nation.”

Senator Reed has introduced legislation, the School Building Improvement Act (S. 1674), which would authorize federal resources for capital improvements of public schools and he wants to include the legislation in a national infrastructure spending plan. Reed’s initiative would help provide $100 billion in federal grants and school construction bonds over the next decade to help build and renovate schools. He also introduced the Educator Preparation Reform Act (S.1694), which seeks to improve the professional preparation of teachers, principals, librarians, and other school leaders.

Additionally, Reed has also cosponsored several pieces of gun control legislation during this Congress, including the Assault Weapons Ban (S. 2095), the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (S. 1939), the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act of 2017 (S. 533), the Background Check Completion Act of 2017 (S. 1923), the Background Check Expansion Act (S. 2009), the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act (S. 1916), the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act (S. 2044), the Keep Americans Safe Act (S. 1945), and a bill to permit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and cures to gun violence (S. 834), as well as other gun safety measures.