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Parents Concerned About School Safety Weigh Various Options

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There are plenty of signs that parents are fearful about violence in our society and how it will impact their children—in school, and beyond.

Highest profile among them are the parents of three children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14. Today, these grieving parents called for better enforcement of gun laws at a legislative hearing in their state. The Associated Press reports that it was the "second of four public hearings held by the Connecticut General Assembly's task force on gun violence and school safety, which was created to develop legislative proposals in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. The subcommittees have until Feb. 15 to forward their recommendations to legislative leaders."

Other evidence that parents are on edge:

As U.S. lawmakers eye policy changes in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, proposals include arming adults in and around schools, a suggestion that Education Week's Nirvi Shah points out has raised several concerns.

In Missouri, a state lawmaker, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, introduced a bill on Jan. 23 that would require parents to register their gun ownership with their children's schools, and to prevent their children from illegally owning guns. Parents would be subject to fines for failure to report their guns, and for failure to secure them properly.

The National PTA last week commended members of Congress for a proposed ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Earlier, the organization praised the Obama administration's gun violence prevention agenda—except for the proposal to increase the school resource officer program, which conflicts with the PTA position that schools should be gun-free.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that gun manufacturers are increasingly marketing their products—including assault weapons—to children. In one ad, a 15-year-old girl is depicted holding a semi-automatic weapon.

What do you think parents should be doing to keep their children safe at schools, as the debate over violence prevention and gun policy rages on?

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