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Gun Violence Prevention, School Safety Measures Key to Keeping Kids Safe

A New York Times/CBS News poll released today finds that nine out of ten Americans, including gun owners, support universal background checks for gun buyers. Strengthening background checks is one of the proposals aimed at preventing gun violence that President Barack Obama unveiled yesterday.

President Obama’s plan includes gun violence prevention measures as well as proposals to improve school safety and increase access to mental health services.

A new NEA member poll shows the majority of educators are in line with the presidential recommendations. According to the poll, 64 percent of members support stronger gun violence prevention laws, and 90 percent support strengthening background check regulations.

CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “President Obama’s proposals are an important step toward improving school safety. We need action not only to prevent gun violence, but also to improve the climate of our schools and expand mental health services. Educators and families need to be able to identify potential problems and intervene before it’s too late.”

“We continue to grieve for the Newtown community,” she continued. “As a state and a nation we need to make important changes so that we never again face a tragedy like this. Every child deserves a safe and secure learning environment.”

President Obama’s plan is based on the work of a gun violence task force led by Vice President Joe Biden.

In a letter to Vice President Biden, the National Education Association (NEA) outlined its proposal that, while including sensible gun safety recommendations, focuses on truly preventive measures. These include greater access to mental health services, plus the infrastructure, training and programs that will ensure safe learning environments for the nation’s children.

What do you think should be done to improve school safety?

One Comment
  1. Jon-Paul Roden #

    In these days of local budget cuts and freezes, it’s critical that we do all in our power to make sure that districts don’t cut positions like counselors, social workers, and school psychologists – all a part of that support network of personnel that work with youngsters who need their help. We should look on the people in these positions as the “first responders” to students who may be at risk for emotional distress. There awareness of the mental health climate of schools and their students should be seen as a first line of prevention.

    These professionals support a safe learning environment and work to safeguard the human rights of all members of the school community. They often deal with the needs of students and staff through relevant prevention and intervention programs.

    January 17, 2013

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