The new Federal Commission on School Safety, formed March 2018 as a response to the recent deadly school violence, held its first public meeting on June 6th. Called the Federal Commission on School Safety Listening Session, many concerned people from across the country took their allotted five minutes to express their views. The 6 hour video can be found here: https://youtu.be/LOHJAk9Indw . A second meeting, discussing the effects of media on student actions, is here: https://youtu.be/gklZf5Zfq9A.
Last June, CA Teacher Credentialing gave new requirements for teacher training programs that address teacher classroom management so as to be inclusive of children with mental health difficulties and those living under short or long-term stressful conditions. Here is a link to the documents with the new wordings highlighted:
As example of what needs to change, California’s EdSource website hosts the California Department of Education’s California School Dashboard – https://edsource.org/2017/california-school-dashboard/578691. This report grades progress for individual schools, sorted by district, on suspension rates as well as academics. Their newsletter recently featured Coachella Valley USD, Los Angeles USD, and Oakland Unified School District’s programs in their use of restorative justice: https://edsource.org/topic/full-circle
The Council for Behavioral Disorders, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children CEC, is an organization of advocacy through education, research, and public policy for exceptional children. A statement was issued in February 2018:
“Executive Committee of the Council for Exceptional Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) is committed to improving schools for all. As such, we want to champion school-based emotional and behavioral evidence-based interventions to reduce and ameliorate violence, depression, anxiety, social isolation, school exclusion, and drop out.”
The complete statement can be found at link http://www.ccbd.net/home . A Conference subtitled the “7th World Conference on Violence in Schools and Public Policy” was recently held in Canada with representatives from the USA.
Local outside organizations have gained visibility with their EdRev Conference in San Francisco. Parents Helping Parents in San Jose www.php.com is an advocacy group working with families in the area to improve mental health at home and school. Another, Children’s Health Council CHC, located on the peninsula, https://www.chconline.org teamed up with other local organizations for outreach to help children become resilient during these high anxiety times. Very recently, CHC partnered with the Michael Harris Foundation to fund a program for adolescents and to train mental health clinicians.
LWVBAE could take a role in involving the community in assessing local needs and goals.
Relevant League Positions
The League of Women Voters CA’s “Position on Education” states that there are fundamental elements “that must be present to create a teaching and learning environment that provides access and equitable opportunity for all children includes…a safe school environment” LWV Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville adds that “Secondary students should have…school based health programs which would bring health services for teenagers directly to the school site to address critical health and social problems.”
See also LWVUS Impact on Issues for the position on Education under Social Policy https://www.lwv.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/impact_on_issues_2016-2018_social_policy.pdf
The League of Women Voters of the United States has strong and broad policy positions on gun control and gun safety and on violence prevention. See Impact on Issues 2016-18 https://www.lwv.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/impact_on_issues_2016-2018.pdf.
Note: Christine Wenrich is following school and violence related-issues and will publish articles on the website on these themes from time to time.
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