Growing coalition of national education organizations sign on to eight-point violence prevention plan
Drs. Shane Jimerson and Michael Furlong of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School are two of the authors to develop the recently released “Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America.” They are part of an interdisciplinary group on preventing school and community violence. This group laid out a three-tiered public health approach to protect children and adults from gun violence, which includes eight policy recommendations around implementing gun control legislation, improving mental health services and threat assessment, and making broad improvements to school discipline and school climate. The statement can be read online.
In less than a week, the statement has won the endorsement of 57 national organizations that represent over five million professionals, including: American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Committee for Children, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, and Society for Prevention Research. This call-to-action advocates for three levels of prevention that include:
- Universal approaches to promoting safety and well-being;
- Practices to reduce risk and increase protective factors for youth experiencing difficulties; and
- Interventions for individuals where violence appears imminent.
Each of these levels offers a distinct set of policy recommendations, beginning with a national call-to-action to promote positive school climate and a ban of all assault-style weapons. Along with improved mental health services and threat assessment practices, the authors of the statement also call for policies such as: universal background checks, removal of barriers to sharing safety-related information, and gun violence protection orders.
Leading organizations and individuals from across the country are signing on to build national consensus around the plan—and compel state and federal legislatures to enact these prevention-focused policies.
Shane Jimerson is a Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Dr. Jimerson is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and recognized by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress as a Board Certified Expert and Diplomat, and is included in their international registry of Experts in Traumatic Stress with specialization in working with children, families, and schools.
Michael Furlong is Associate Dean for Research of and a Professor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 16, School Psychology) and the American Educational Research Association.