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Principal Swaps Security Guards for Art Teachers

As an Education Week analysis of school safety bills filed since the Newtown shooting reveals, many states are proposing beefing up security—and even arming teachers—to prevent similar tragedies.

But according to NBC News, a school in Roxbury, Mass., has seen positive effects—at least in terms of academics and school culture—from cutting back on school security and reinvesting those funds in arts instruction.

Andrew Bott became the sixth principal in seven years at Orchard Gardens K-8 School in 2010. At that time, he says (in the NBC video), "the school definitely had a prison feel." He decided to replace all of the school's security guards with art teachers, including band, dance, and visual art. Since then, the school's physical space has changed as well—the hallways are now lined with bright decorations and motivational posters. According to NBC:

The end result? Orchard Gardens has one of the fastest student improvement rates statewide. And the students—once described as loud and unruly, have found their focus.

While undoubtedly there were other factors contributing to the rise in test scores—which are still overall below average—Principal Bott tells NBC that Orchard Gardens is "definitely on the right path."

In light of all that's been going on in schools and in the Boston area, it's refreshing to see some good news like this. ...

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