Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Have Gone School District to School District Urging School Boards Across the State to Prohibit Firearms on School Grounds
Milestone Comes After Volunteers Helped Pass the First Gun Safety Legislation in Years With SB 554 in 2021
PORTLAND —Portland Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to prohibit guns on school grounds following the advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, the grassroots networks of Everytown for Gun Safety. The latest development makes it so that now more than 25 districts and more than 150,000 Oregon students live in a district that prohibits guns on school grounds – a critical step to keeping schools and students safe.
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters sent more than 600 messages to local leaders across the state to make sure they know the importance of their new ability to keep guns out of school buildings under SB 554.
“No student should be afraid to go to school,” said Cara Chen, a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in Oregon. “We shouldn’t have to worry about guns on our playgrounds, in our classrooms, or during lunch. I’m grateful for the school districts across the state, including my own, that understand the importance of this policy – and I look forward to advocating for the rest of our districts to follow their lead.”
“This is a huge milestone for our state,” said Amie Wexler, a volunteer leader with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Keeping guns off school grounds is an important step to making sure that students are safe inside and outside of the classroom. We know that there is more work to do and will be continuing to go district by district until all Oregon children have a safe learning environment.”
Guns have no place in our schools. Research shows that having guns in schools is risky and dangerous. There have been several incidents where guns carried into schools were misplaced or children accessed them because they were left in bathrooms or locker rooms – there was one incident where a gun fell out of a pocket when a teacher did a backflip. There are also multiple cases where guns were stolen from teachers by students or misplaced and later found in the hands of students.
This work builds on local activations to encourage school safety across the country by grassroots volunteers. Over the past two years, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact secure storage notification policies, encouraging parents to keep firearms stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunation, including school districts in Vermont, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado. This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence.
For more information or to talk with an Oregon Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer, please don’t hesitate to reach out.