The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals issued the following statement in response to President Obama's proposals to reduce gun violence:
NASSP and NAESP applaud President Obama for his proposals to reduce gun violence and we pledge our support to ongoing efforts to make those proposals a reality. The president’s proposals reflect many of the recommendations that our organizations submitted last week to Vice President Biden. We’re encouraged by the call for support for more resource officers, school counselors, and psychologists, and that the decisions are made locally with schools. The recognition of the importance of open lines of communication among schools, community health agencies, and law-enforcement officials is also commendable. Stronger efforts to reduce bullying will be met with wide acceptance from school leaders, as will more resources to identify and address mental health issues and more training for educators to constructively participate in those efforts.
NAESP and NASSP are calling for more coordination between education and mental health service systems as a part of the comprehensive movement to prevent future gun and related violence in schools. Principals and mental health service providers need the ability to get students and their families the help they need more quickly without unnecessary policy barriers. “Principals should have immediate access to services for children who repeatedly demonstrate disturbing behaviors--not years later,” said NAESP Executive Director, Gail Connelly. “The Administration and Congress must help set the models for how schools and communities can work together to serve and protect all students. This is the type of systemic change our nation needs to put an end to horrible violent events like Sandy Hook,” she said.