Kemp plan would boost schools’ security, counselors

September 23, 2018

State GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp unveiled on Wednesday, Sept. 19, a $90 million proposal for school security focused on mental health and local control.

His plan would add school counselors in all 343 state public high schools, provide one-time funding for schools to spend as they see fit and create a school safety division within the Georgia Department of Education. He said his plan would ensure that Georgia classrooms are ripe for learning, not violence.

His plan did not mention guns in the schools. “This is a school safety proposal. This has nothing to do with Second Amendment protections or gun control ideas that my opponent might have,” Kemp said.

In response, Abrams’ spokeswoman Priyanka Mantha said that “common sense gun safety measures, including repealing campus carry, are essential to ensuring our schools are safe.”

Kemp’s plan would put a support counselor in every school, who would be tasked with assisting and guiding students battling mental health issues, opioid abuse, violence in the home, bullying and suicide. In addition, they would work to improve graduation rates by connecting students, families with available academic resources and services.

His plan would provide for a one-time $30,000 allotment for each of Georgia’s 2,292 public schools that local officials can use for “school security purposes” specific to their schools. Kemp said the program would cost taxpayers nothing, indicating he would be able to find the money in the state budget.

Kemp also wants to create a new school safety division within the Georgia Department of Education using existing funds from the department.

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