National PTA: Gun Violence Prevention Efforts

From Jim Accomando, National PTA President

I have heard from many of you regarding National PTA’s response to the recent tragic events in Parkland, Florida and the all too frequent school shootings across the country. Thank you for the valuable input.

As you know, National PTA has been providing leadership on school safety and gun violence prevention for nearly three decades. National PTA leadership recently hosted a meeting with leading gun violence prevention advocates to ascertain how PTA’s resources can best ensure the safety of our children. Today, there is even more urgency for us to act.

Staff and I have met to discuss a robust and strategic response. Below are the proposed recommendations:

  1. Guidance Document on Gun Violence Prevention and Student Voice: This guidance document outlines the importance of the student voice during this unique time. This guidance will include suggested talking points for National as well as state and local PTAs around the proposed walk-outs and marches.
  2. Press Release to the General Public: This press release clearly outlines our existing gun violence prevention position statements and resolutions. The release includes links to our PTA.org website for additional information.
  3. FAQ Guidance Document on PTA Position Statements and Resolutions: This guidance document provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions that we receive from our membership about gun violence prevention efforts.
  4. 2018 Legislative Conference: We will change our 2018 “Hill ask” from full funding of the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) to gun violence prevention efforts. Further, our Legislative Conference programming will now include a gun violence prevention speaker. We will also be recommending training exclusively for the State Presidents.
  5. PTA Programs: National PTA has initiated conversations with gun violence prevention groups to collaborate on the promotion of school safety programs that do not require a legislative response. These programs will provide resources to parents, teachers, and community members alike.