Illinois Democrats Push to Reward Schools That Hire Therapists Instead of Armed Guards

A policeman grabs his pistol, Germany, city of Braunlage, 12. January 2015. Photo by: Frank May/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Frank May/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Illinois Democrats are pushing legislation to reward schools that use funding to hire therapists instead of armed guards.

The legislation, HB4208, is sponsored by Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester). It has 16 co-sponsors.

The Associated Press reports that HB4208 “would allow schools to apply to an optional grant if they promise to reallocate funding for school-based law enforcement to mental health services, including social workers.” They would also have the option of redirecting the funding to other non-security measures “designed to promote school safety and healthy environments.”

On the federal level, Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered more funding to schools that utilize armed resource officers for school safety. But Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law’s Michelle Mbekani-Wiley criticized Sessions’ approach, suggesting more officers in the Chicago Public School system only heightens the chances of “minority students” being arrested, thereby diminishing their opportunity to secure employment or get into college.

She said, “[The] increased presence of law enforcement in schools does not necessarily enhance school safety. Instead it dramatically increases the likelihood that students will be unnecessarily swept into the criminal justice system often for mere adolescent or disruptive behavior.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

.