Dingell Joins SAFE Coalition for Dearborn Community Forum on Student Safety
DEARBORN, MI – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) in conjunction with the SAFE Substance Abuse Coalition, State Representative Abdullah Hammoud and Dearborn Police, held a community forum yesterday evening in Dearborn to address the concerns of parents and families regarding the current wave of violence in schools across the country. In addition to educating the community about emergency procedures in place in Dearborn Public Schools to ensure student safety, the forum aimed to build coalitions within the community to make positive change and advance legislative solutions to keep our schools and communities safe.
Rep. Dingell said: “Words are not enough. We have a responsibility to protect our young people, and rather than retreating to our corners, we must have an honest, productive conversation about the gun violence epidemic and commonsense solutions. We thank the SAFE Coalition for bringing us together – local elected officials, the police chief, representatives of mental health and suicide prevention groups, and members of the community – to talk about what we can do together to improve gun safety and keep our children and families safe. I look forward to taking these ideas back to Washington so we can take meaningful, bipartisan action to address gun violence and save American lives.”
Hassan F. Abdallah, Executive Director of SAFE Substance Abuse Coalition, said: “This forum was put together in response and in service to the 100+ emails and calls SAFE received in response to the tragic domestic terror attack that occurred in Parkland, Florida. Our aim was to address the concerns of parents and families regarding the current wave of violence in schools across America and get a better understanding of the practices and procedures used in the Dearborn Public Schools to ensure student safety and address emergency situations.
“I pride myself and hold my organization to the highest standard of public service and we wanted to make sure that the questions and concerns of community members and particularly the parents were heard and more importantly - ANSWERED. The safety of our families and children in our school systems is at the core of SAFE’s mission - children shouldn’t have to choose between attending school and being shot at. We’re lucky in Dearborn to have leaders like O’Reilly, Hammoud, Dingell, Haddad and Maleyko who are unwavering in their commitment to student safety.”
State Rep. Hammoud said: "Tragedy after tragedy, those in charge have failed to act. Like so many other residents, I am angry and frustrated. My hope is with the young people of Florida and across our nation that are demonstrating their resilience and influence. They have made it clear that they will be a crucial voice in determining the outcome of gun reforms and I encourage us all to support those efforts."
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said: “There is no greater cause in America than protecting our children in a safe school environment. I am hopeful and encouraged that we can establish many of the commonsense reforms that have been recommended for school safety and gun reform that 90% of Americans support. I will continue to work with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and other leaders to develop measures that best serve the nation.”
The forum discussed a number of legislative solutions to the gun violence epidemic, including the bipartisan King-Thompson bill to strengthen the background check system to include all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the internet or in classified ads while providing reasonable exceptions for family and friend transfers. The panel also explored ideas like establishing a 1-800 number to report individuals who pose a danger and expanding Red Flag Laws, which would allow family members or law enforcement to seek a court order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns when they pose a threat to themselves or others.