Nine school violence prevention researchers and practitioners nationwide have developed a position statement on the Dec. 14, 2012 Connecticut school shootings that is being disseminated across the U.S. today. It is in response to the tragic acts of violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School and updates the School Shootings Position Statement that was disseminated nationally following the tragic school-related shootings of 2006. The statement calls for balance, communication, connectedness, and support and explores key issues mental health, integrated threat assessment, media effects, and access to guns. Two of the nine researchers are Michael Furlong and Shane Jimerson, professors in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School.
The position statement and a complete list of organizations endorsing it are posted at: http://curry.virginia.edu/articles/sandyhookshooting. The statement will also be published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of School Violence, which is edited by Michael Furlong.
Today’s position statement has been endorsed by more than 100 professional organizations representing well over 4 million professionals, such as the American Federation of Teachers, multiple divisions of the American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America, Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Education Association, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers, and Mental Health America. Additionally, more than 100 nationally recognized researchers and practitioners have endorsed this statement, including deans of several major university colleges of education and social work.
Additional organizations will be posting the document or providing links to it on their websites. The position statement is also being disseminated via professional listservs and is being published in several professional newsletters.
Nine researchers and practitioners from multiple fields of study who have worked in the area of school safety since the 1980s have prepared this position statement. The driving force behind the statement was to communicate scientifically informed principles and recommendations for practitioners, policymakers and the public at large. The co-authors’ goal is to help build consensus on a course of meaningful action.