Key Issue: School Safety

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Key Issue: School Safety

PSEA President asks for your ideas

As we grieve the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, we also think of our families, our students, our communities.

The families of the children and educators who have lost their lives or been threatened by violence in their schools have our thoughts and prayers. But they – and we – need more than that. We need action.

Part of PSEA’s mission statement says that “We are members who promote, protect, and advocate for our schools, students, and professions.”

So we are turning to you – PSEA members – to help us fulfill this mission. Please share your ideas about school safety and help us to identify school safety priorities so we can advocate for them in the General Assembly and throughout state government.

You know what works and what doesn’t in your schools. And you know what policy changes will help ensure that our classrooms, cafeterias, buses, and hallways are safe spaces.

When we asked you to do this in 2018, you replied with thoughtful and original ideas. And policymakers listened. Now we are asking again. Please help. You can make a difference.

Share your school safety ideas and stories with PSEA

Making a difference

PSEA members’ ideas have formed the basis of PSEA’s school safety priorities

In 2018, PSEA asked members to share their ideas about school safety. Nearly 1,000 PSEA members shared thoughtful and original suggestions.

You helped identify several important strategies and resources that can be used to create safe, positive, and secure school environments:

  • Safe physical buildings, equipment, and grounds;
  • Support from the community, including law enforcement, mental health, and social service agencies;
  • Adequately trained staff; and
  • Quality relationships between staff and students and their families.

In March 2018, PSEA issued a comprehensive school safety report based on those ideas. We shared this report with Gov. Tom Wolf, members of the General Assembly, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and others.

Policymakers respond when PSEA members share ideas

Just months after PSEA issued our comprehensive school safety report, lawmakers acted on many of the report’s recommendations. Those successes included:

  • $60 million in school safety grants.
  • The Safe2Say Something program, which is a safe and anonymous way for parents, school staff, students, and community members to report dangerous or criminal acts, threats, or instances of bullying.
  • Threat assessment teams in every public school which assess problem situations and take steps to prevent violence.
  • Training and professional development for trauma-informed learning programs to improve the students’ social-emotional growth and educators’ well-being.

School safety issues are always a PSEA priority

PSEA knows that the potential threat of violence at school is always on the minds of educators and support professionals – and their students. We want to do everything we can to make our schools safe environments to learn and work.

  • That’s why we are pushing lawmakers to include more funding for schools to hire more school counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals who can help students work through trauma, anxiety, and depression.
  • We are also advocating for funding for school safety grants and for school safety audits.
  • Just as important, we are making it clear that we oppose arming educators or other staff in school buildings. Teachers, counselors, and support professionals are trained to provide a high-quality education to our students, not to carry or use firearms in a dangerous situation. The last thing we need is the presence of more firearms in our classrooms and hallways.

PSEA offers professional development to help members and their students

PSEA also provides members as much support as possible through professional development programs that help explain student anxiety and trauma. PSEA’s PEARL platform and NEA’s Micro-credentials site include a number of offerings aimed at social emotional and trauma-informed learning that are accessible to you at any time.

PEARL

  • Trauma Informed Instruction
  • Understanding Students and Anger
  • Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety
  • Understanding Students and Trauma
  • Building and Maintaining a Humanized Classroom

NEA Micro-credentials

The Trauma Informed Pedagogy collection, including micro-credentials on:

  • Creating a Healing Centered Learning Environment
  • Trauma Informed Support for Students
  • Race Based Trauma
  • Poverty Based Trauma
  • Developing a Healing-Centered Self-Care Practice
  • Using a Healing-Centered Approach to Support Refugee Students

The Bully Free Schools collection, including micro-credentials on:

  • Creating Bully-Free Environments within Structured Settings
  • Cyberbullying/Cyber Safety
  • Intervention Strategies for Educators
  • Empowering Students to Find Their Voice
  • School Connectedness
  • Education Support Professionals: First Responders
  • Federal, State, and Local Policy Related to Bullying