A founding principle of National PTA’s mission is to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth. School safety is a critical priority for all parents, educators, students, and community members that cannot be taken for granted. Students and educators have a right to attend schools that are safe and conducive to learning and achievement, yet schools often experience critical incidents such as suicide, natural disasters, or a mass casualty event that have a devastating impact on students, parents, educators, and the community.
National PTA recognizes that school safety is a multi-faceted issue with no one clear solution for each community. All efforts to address school safety must involve all stakeholders, especially students, parents, and families and take into account a variety of factors including the physical and psychological safety of students. Our association promotes the implementation of evidence-based policies and practices articulated in A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools. (1) Any decision regarding physical security measures must be locally determined, collaborative and specifically include input from students, parents, families, educators, school leaders and the community.
National PTA believes the most effective day-to-day school climate to be gun-free, which includes not arming teachers and administrators, but defers to local collaborative decisionmaking regarding the presence of law enforcement deployed in community-oriented policing and school building security. (2) If the decision is made to have a Student Resource Officer (SRO) or other security agency within a school building, there must be a clearly defined memorandum of understanding between the law enforcement agency and the school that articulates the role of the school resource officer. (3)
The association and its constituent bodies promote the establishment of, and support for
policies and procedures that emphasize the following:
Adopted: by the 2018 Board of Directors
1 Cowan, K. C., Vaillancourt, K., Rossen, E., & Pollitt, K. (2013). A framework for safe and successful schools [Brief]. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
2 National PTA. (2016). Gun safety and violence prevention position statement. Alexandria, VA: National PTA.
3 National PTA. (2016). Positive school discipline position statement. Alexandria, VA: National PTA.
4 National PTA. (2016). Early Identification and Interventions for Children with Mental Health Needs. Alexandria, VA: National PTA.