As grief-stricken families bury two more children in Connecticut today, Delaware Governor Jack Markell is speaking out about the issues he says last week’s elementary school massacre raises.
“What is clear is that we have a culture of violence in this country, coupled with ready access to guns, and we continue as a society to fail adolescents struggling with mental illness,” said Gov. Markell, (D-Del.)
In a statement released today, the governor points to three main areas of concern: mental health, school safety and gun laws.
“We must work to remove more of the stigma associated with mental illness and recognize it for the disease that it is,” said Gov. Markell.
Overcoming that stigma, as well as providing access to treatment, the governor says, is critical, especially for children and teens.
“When skilled mental health professionals are present in the schools, they provide the best possible opportunity we have to identify young people who are in need of services,” Markell said, adding his administration is working on ways to expand that access.
Additionally, the governor says the state is in the middle of working with schools and the Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security to create comprehensive safety plans, as called for under the recently signed into law Omnibus School Safety Act.
“To date, 30 schools have completed these plans and we have funded creation of school safety plans for the next 50 schools.”
Lastly, a supporter of a ban on assault weapons with large clips, Gov. Markell says the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting warrants revisiting the issue of gun control, not only in Delaware, but also across the country.