RESOLUTION OF THE GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION TO DECLARE GUN VIOLENCE A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS AND TO SUPPORT SAFE GUN STORAGE IN THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS
WHEREAS, the safety and well-being of our scholars, staff, and community is a top priority for Grand Rapids Public Schools;
WHEREAS, the facts supporting the immediate need for increased gun safety are as follows:
- In the United States each year, approximately three million children and teens are exposed to shootings each year, 15,000 are shot and injured, and 3,500 are shot and killed;
- Middle- and high-school-aged children are more likely to die from firearm injuries than any other single cause of death;
- Black youth are four times more likely and Hispanic and Indigenous people are more than twice as likely to die by gun violence than their white peers;
- The rate of death from firearms among children aged 14 to 17 is now 22.5% higher than motor vehicle-related deaths;
- Nearly 22,000 Americans, including over 950 children and teens, die by firearm suicide every year;
- According to a report from the U.S. Secret Service, in incidents of gun violence on school grounds, 76% of attackers acquired a firearm from the home of a parent or a close relative;
- A 2019 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that an average of 1 in 15 boys and 1 in 50 girls reported carrying a gun for non-recreational purposes in the past 12 months; and
- In Michigan, gun violence is the second-leading cause of death for children and teens.
WHEREAS, the Grand Rapids Public Schools supports the rights of responsible gun ownership, where the owner is educated on the risks associated with guns, and responsible storage, handle, use and transport of a firearm
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Superintendent will annually disseminate secure gun storage material as identified by the Superintendent and approved by the Board in a time and manner determined by the Superintendent;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board President will send this resolution to the Mayor and City Commission Members. The resolution will be accompanied by a request that the City of Grand Rapids initiate swift action to approve a similar resolution, appropriate funds for community-led violence prevention efforts, support programs that reduce gun violence, promote gun safety education, and utilize policy measures to curb gun violence in the City of Grand Rapids.
CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY I, the undersigned, being duly qualified and acting Secretary of the Board of Education of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of a resolution adopted by the Board of Education of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, of Kent County, Michigan at a regular meeting held on the 15th day of May, 2023, the original of which is on file in my office, and that public notice of said meeting was given pursuant to and in full compliance with Act 267, Public Acts of Michigan, 1976. Dated this the 15th day of May, 2023
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