ASHA is committed to ensuring a safe and secure learning environment for all students and educators, and will work with allied stakeholders towards achieving that critical goal.
ASHA is particularly affected by the tragedy of gun violence in schools. Half of our 198,000 members work as audiologists and speech-language pathologists in a school setting, providing critical services to millions of students with communication disorders. Our members and the students they serve have witnessed gun violence in elementary schools, secondary schools, and universities. They have experienced the devastation this violence inflicts on school communities and young minds.
ASHA maintains that changes can and should be made to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all students and educators. Recently, a policy proposal has surfaced in the national dialogue that calls for arming educators as a deterrent to gun violence. ASHA rejects this proposal. School safety and security should be entrusted to highly-trained school resource officers (NASRO, 2018). Furthermore, schools as gun-free zones should be universally promoted, as research has shown this to be effective in making schools safer (CDC, 2008).
ASHA supports a collaborative and allied stakeholder-driven process to identify initiatives designed to manage access to guns and promote public safety. ASHA also supports ensuring that schools are appropriately resourced, so that every student has access to the social, emotional, and communicative supports he or she needs in order to succeed.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, School-Associated Student Homicides–United States, 1992-2006 (2008, January 18). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5702a1.htm.
National Association of School Resource Officers (2018, February 22). NASRO Opposes Arming Teachers: Organization advocates instead for carefully selected, specially-trained school resource officers [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.nasro.org/news/2018/02/22/news-releases/nasro-opposes-arming-teachers/.
Reference this material as: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2018). Gun Violence and School Safety [Position Statement]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.
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