Seattle Students Rally for More School Mental Health Counselors, Gun Safety

The protest was prompted by the fatal on-campus shooting of a 17-year-old high school student last week.

Seattle Students Rally for More School Mental Health Counselors, Gun Safety

Photo via Adobe, by Oleksandr Dibrova

Seattle, Washington – High school students in Seattle walked out of their classes and protested in front of city hall on Monday, demanding more mental health resources at school, less access to guns, and more training for security officers.

The rally, which also included some parents, followed the November 8 fatal shooting of a 17-year-old student at Ingraham High School by a 14-year-old suspect.

The students want more mental health counselors. Currently, there is one for every 350 students, but the rally attendees want the ratio to be one counselor for every 200 students, reports the Seattle Times.

Students also want to receive training in school on how to deal with interpersonal conflicts. Additionally, they are asking for school security specialists to be trained in de-escalation. They don’t want the officers to be armed.

District Superintendent Brent Jones has discussed new steps to address student safety, such as a district-wide safety and security audit, as well as the creation of a “community action team” and “child well-being council.” However, some students and their families are concerned the changes won’t implemented quickly, reports the Seattle Times.

Jones, however, isn’t the only calling for improved school security. Seattle’s mayor, a local member of congress and other community leaders are calling for more gun safety measures and restricted access to firearms.  A city council member has proposed $2 million to expand campus mental health services.

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