High School Violence Prompts Calls for National Guard

(StraightNews.org) – A Massachusetts high school has asked Governor Maura Healey to deploy the National Guard to help it tackle student violence. Brockton School Committee members Joyce Asack, Tony Rodrigues, Claudio Gomes, and Ana Oliver wrote a letter to Governor Healey to request temporary support, citing “a disturbing increase in incidents related to violence, security concerns, and substance abuse.”

The letter describes widespread teacher absence amid a spike in violent altercations and disruption, which it said had “reached a critical point.”

Requesting National Guard assistance, the letter notes that its expertise in crisis management could provide a much-needed reprieve while a longer-term solution is explored for the 4,000-student institution.

A spokesperson for Governor Healey said she is aware of the concerns and is in touch with local officials. Healey’s office released a statement to Boston media: “Our administration is committed to ensuring that schools are safe and supportive environments.”

However, Brockton City Councilor At-Large Winthrop Farwell Jr. said he is against National Guard intervention. He wrote on social media that soldiers in uniform are “not the answer.”

In 2022, New Mexico’s National Guard was deployed to classrooms to help with staff shortages, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said, “Our kids, our teachers, and our parents deserve as much stability as we can provide.”

Federal data reveals that crime and violence in American high schools last year was the highest in over two decades. The National Center for Education Statistics noted there were 188 shootings in the school year 2021-2022, including 57 fatalities. Most of these shootings were carried out by male students aged 12 to 18, and surveys reveal that the majority of Americans consider tackling school violence more important than Second Amendment rights.

An NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist survey last May showed that 60% think protecting schools trumps gun rights, including 40% who own firearms. Almost one-third – 27% – believe an assault weapons ban would help tackle school shootings, while 17% supported mental health screening of gun purchasers.

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