Our schools must be safe places for all students!
This is not debatable.
But there are two over-shadowing issues in this country right now that greatly affect how safe our students are feeling in our schools.
Gun safety: As schools opened for the 2019/2020 school year we watched the rollout of the new safety drill procedures. Unfortunately we have witnessed procedures and practices put into place that do not do anything towards increasing the safety of our students or educators.
Hearing from educators that have experienced being shot at in role-playing activities leads us to ask if these schools have any idea about what to do/not do to incorporate trauma informed practices.
Reading about songs that children have learned, or how they go home to tell about what they learned that day and the only thing their mind is focused on is the safety drill (fear is a powerful force that etches an imprint in the mind) should be a flashing red warning light to everyone that we are harming children.
We agree with Evan Gertsmann: "There are much better uses for the resources that go into these unproven, traumatizing active-shooter drills. In terms of protecting schoolchildren from the very small risk of active shooters, the money would be better spent on hiring more counselors."
As activists and advocates, we need to make sure we keep pushing for comprehensive gun control. The Parkland students have not stopped and neither should we! Make sure you read the "March for Our Lives Peace Plan"
Immigration: We know that all schools do not yet have full policies that will ensure the safety of our immigrant and refugee students. Have you checked to see if your district has a policy in place, such as a Safe Haven/Safe Zone resolution?
Here is some legal guidance that you can start with
NEA also has some great information and resources