Each year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the number of incidents of gun violence on school grounds has grown. That is appalling and simply unacceptable. As a parent and concerned community member, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of our schools.

I am heartened to see that the federal government is building on the research and lessons learned in the Sandy Hook tragedy — along with too many other massacres since — by increasing the funding available for the training of youth and adults in our school system. Knowing the warning signs to look out for and how to intervene when potential violence is threatened or suspected are crucial to reversing this epidemic.

I urge the governor’s administration to act fast and apply for the STOP School Violence Act funding, which can bring the necessary, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs we need to every school in Georgia at no cost. It is our responsibility — as the adults — to make schools safer and equip our children with the life skills needed to prevent all forms of violence. With this federal funding available, it is time to act. The safety of our children depends on it.

Marti Toner


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