"School Safety is a Team Effort," by Tom Gentzel
NSBA calls on federal government to provide resources to allow local schools to boost safety measures, including mental health resources
As the academic year begins, students and their families may find themselves concerned about the safety of their schools. After 22 school shootings in the first half of 2018 alone, their worry is reasonable.
The National School Boards Association believes that the federal government has a role to play in providing resources to promote local school safety. These include school resource officers, school counseling, emergency preparedness and response training, interagency coordination and comprehensive resource guides on available federal assistance. We also support greater, sustained federal funding that expands access to mental health resources.
When schools are actively invested in the well-being of their students, and when local experts can exchange information about potential mental health or psycho-social needs, schools and communities are more prepared to intervene before mass violence happens. Additionally, recovery plans should be developed and maintained with appropriate local, state and federal agencies.
School leaders and teachers are held accountable for the results they deliver. We should expect no less of federal policy makers, especially when the safety of our children is at stake.
By Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA executive director and CEO. This article first appeared in Media Planet, an insert of USA Today, on Sept. 26, 2018