Diane Douglas: “If Kids Aren’t Safe In Our Schools No Learning Is Going To Happen”

Douglas calls on legislators to adequately fund Arizona’s schools. [Photo from ADE]

In the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school this week, Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas discussed the safety challenges and needs facing Arizona schools. Douglas said her “heart goes out not only to the families who have lost their love ones,” and the people of the United States are “one family and the shooting hurts us all.”

Douglas made the comments in an interview on KFYI’s James T. Harris show.

Douglas told Harris that her office is a “big bully pulpit” from which to preach about a “three pronged approach” needed to “make sure our facilities are safe.” Douglas, who has long been an advocate for secure facilities, called for increased funding and training.

Douglas stated that schools can apply for grants through Proposition 301 but “it’s not adequate to help all of our schools and we need to partner either with police departments and law enforcement agencies to ensure that our kids are safe on these campuses. “Prop 301 is moving through the Legislature,” said Douglas, “to extend the 6/10 of a cent and hopefully maybe we can take a look at how some of that money is used and get more of that money into our school resource officer program.”

“I saw something recently that I thought was interesting,” said Douglas. “You know, if you go into any bank in America, you’ll find an armed guard to protect our money, yet in our children’s schools we don’t have anything to protect them. In too many schools we don’t have the protection they need.”

Douglas said the first prong to school safety rests with the Schools Facility Board. “They have been under-funded for so long. Our School Facility Board has got to be a top priority with our legislators; to make sure that we can get these facilities as safe as they can possibly be.”

Douglas said one of the biggest risks kids are facing are unsafe schools. “We need to make sure our facilities are adequate. Again I’m a big proponent of school resource officers and having a trained law enforcement person on each and every campus, because although we have emergency preparedness plans and training for our administrators, that’s not what they live and breathe every single day.” Douglas argued that you have to have someone who knows how to respond to an emergency and “know immediately what to do. How to get the best help. How to sort out the good players from the bad players. If kids aren’t safe in our schools no learning is going to happen.”

10 Comments on "Diane Douglas: “If Kids Aren’t Safe In Our Schools No Learning Is Going To Happen”"

  1. Don’t send your kids to public schools. There are many alternatives.

  2. got a hot tip for you Diane, not much learning is taking place now in a lot of public schools. The figures show that and you wonder why the kids that graduate from most public high schools can’t put two words to together but can use the hell out of their phones. SSDD in the lala land of education.

  3. what banks does she go to? My bank was robbed just before christmas and they have no guards, neither do any of the others that have been robbed in this area. Guess when you live in ivory towers with a big income you only go to the BEST!

    Yes throw more money at this ‘educatiion’ problem, dont get involved with the kids and put up caution markers. Then let the leo’s fall on their faces because the cant find the people or whatever. REMEMBER it takes a courts action to declare a person mental and a forbidden purchaser. And this guy like the princess gabby guy was ID’d but never had any lawful actions take by pcso or any other agency. Its not the laws that need to have more passed, its the current enforcement that needs to be improved.

    • Thank you for verifying that my powers of observation haven’t died! I’ve never seen an armed guard in my bank! Douglas, as will many other politicians, is using the murders in Parkland, FL, fool us into thinking that she gives a tinker’s damn about AZ education, which she and so many others do NOT! Throwing money at our broken educational system will not make schools safer. Getting rid of disciplinary systems that don’t work will improve school safety.

      • Ah, say it ain’t so Devilsown… You mean we need to address the root problem in education? Starts with the parents giving a damn, then move to the cronies that make millions of dollars off schools and lastly the administrators who think that their s^&t don’t stink and deserve ridiculous 6 figure salaries for graduating kids that can’t read or write? But what the hell lets throw more money at it and it will get better right? Isn’t that what the “advocates” always want?

        • You said it! The Parkland murders reminded me of Laughner’s murders which could have been avoided. He was kicked out of PCC for disrupting lectures and being a nuisance on campus. The PCSD deputies were called out a few times to his parents house because of his domestic violence. Time was when a LEO/LEO’s tended to a domestic disturbance, somebody in that house was charged and jailed, necessitating a hearing, trial, and usually a conviction. Laughner was never charged with domestic violence, assault, or arrested. Without a police record, he legally bought the fire arm with which he killed innocent folks as well as maimed for life Mrs. Giffords.
          In the Parkland, FL case, the police were regularly called and responded to neighbors’ complaints about Cruz, but he was never charged, arrested, etc. If he had been, the police record would have kept him from buying a fire arm and using it on innocent people. Of course, the FBI also dropped the ball in spite of being warned by a man in MS. That said, TUSD’s disciplinary policy is to sit the misfits in “restorative circles,” and ask them how do they think it made the person they offended/fought with feel when they offended or fought with them. With persistent bad behavioral students, expulsion from the district should be followed by a legally-obtained restraining order to keep the misfit out of the district boundaries, especially if they have committed acts of violence, illicit drug distribution, or destruction of campus property. Such acts would necessitate being charged, tried, and possible conviction which would be on their record, preventing them from buying a fire arm.

      • Dupnik knew Laughner’s parents from work!

  4. Why can our politicians find money to guard government offices where THEY work and fund a jerk business like World View but cannot find the money to protect our children in schools? This is outrageous and every politician today that does not work to assure that our tax dollars go to protect our kids before themselves should be voted out of office at the first opportunity. They are OUR children and they ares OUR TAX DOLLARS. Get it done now, damn it! Law enforcement is first and foremost the responsibility of our local governments so our state and local officials must stop trying to pass the buck to the Federal Government and do the job we elected them to do here where we live.

    • Because the professional politicians only care for themselves the taxpayer/public be damned. If you or your family or friends vote party line d, then you are the problem. The same idiots you are complaining about are the ones that were RE-ELECTED the last go round! So you get what you voted for or in some cases didnt vote for. Remember law enforcement is for after the fact and are not necessarily proactive before hand. Just like the current fbi fiasco, they will always have an excuse to be a day late and a dollar short.

  5. People kill people. The FBI, Police, Teachers, Students and Parents knew about the Florida shooter long ago. They have Failed the Child and those that passed away. If they got from behind their Cell Phones they might have been able to stop him before he struck. Shame on you!

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