In the wake of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump has supported a proposal to arm teachers — even going so far as to suggest rewarding teachers who carry guns with bonuses. But now, the Maryland school attended by Trump’s son Barron has joined more than 125 private independent schools to warn the president against arming teachers.
As the Washington Post reports, leaders from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School — which Barron, 12, attends — and other private schools took out a full-page ad in the Sunday editions of the Post and other newspapers. Listing the names of private schools in the D.C. area and their leaders, the ad asks the president and other lawmakers to enact stricter gun-control measures. It reads in part:
We urge our President, our Congress, and our state leaders to enact specific, vigorous measures to reduce gun violence in our society, particularly in our schools. We need a robust system of registration and background checks, with a particular eye toward weapons capable of rapidly firing a vast number of deadly shots. We need stronger mental health services and more effective communication among agencies responsible for the well-being of children, adults and families. What we do not need is to arm our teachers with guns, which is dangerous and antithetical to our profession as educators.
The president and his wife, Melania, enrolled Barron in the $40,000 per year school last fall. The Post notes that St. Andrew’s didn’t respond to questions as to why it participated in the ad, and that the White House didn’t respond to a request for comment on the ad. Independent schools like St. Andrew’s are run by independent boards and not operated by religious organizations or the government.