Gun Violence Prevention

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Calling for Action on Gun Violence Prevention

It is easy to get discouraged when pervasive challenges, like the one we are facing with community violence and school shootings, have no easy solutions and the options that are possible are rejected by those who have the power to change the safety of our students and communities. 

We are, as civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer once said, sick and tired of being sick and tired. But we are not going to go numb. PTA has been the conscience of this country on issues affecting children and youth for over 125 years, and we're never going to stop advocating for every child with one united voice.

Our association has challenged Congress over and over again to address this issue. We urge you to join us in demanding change—and to take care of yourself and your family, too.

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NO MORE: Open Letter to the Elected Leaders of the United States Congress to End Gun Violence

 

We wanted to share with you that National PTA has joined with other advocacy groups on an open letter to Congress demanding meaningful and immediate action to prevent gun violence. This letter will appear in both print and online editions of USA TODAY in June 2022.

We, along with the other groups that signed on, will be amplifying the letter from our social media accounts using the hashtag #EndGunViolence. We encourage you to take action to prevent gun violence and to share this letter on your social media accounts.


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Open Letter Published in USA Today




Updates from National PTA

 

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All children should feel safe and welcome at school and in their community. National PTA President Anna King has led advocacy efforts in school safety and gun violence prevention this summer. We've pulled some helpful resources below, and you can find more detailed info on what National PTA has been working on related to gun violence prevention in summer 2022 by viewing our recent outreach.


Recent National PTA Advocacy and Communication Outreach
2022 Hill Day Experience (June 15th)

On June 15, almost 300 PTA members went to Capitol Hill to meet with federal lawmakers and call for public policies and funding critical to our mission, including urging Congress to work across the aisle on common sense gun legislation. In particular, we fought for legislation that:

  • Invests in evidence-based community violence intervention strategies
  • Requires a waiting period and a comprehensive background check for all individuals prior to purchasing a firearm
  • Funds research on gun violence prevention and encourages reporting on school crime and safety
  • Prevents discrimination and harmful disciplinary practices in schools
  • Encourages gun safety education and the safe storage of firearms

National PTA also sent our 2022 Hill Asks which included violence prevention to over 10,000 congressional staff emails calling their attention to PTA's presence on the Hill and our priorities around these issues.

June Action Alert: Urge Congress to Protect Our Children from Gun Violence

Following the Uvalde school shooting, National PTA promoted a gun violence action alert through Voter Voice that allowed our members to quickly and easily message their members of Congress on gun violence. As of June 15th, 13,408 messages had been sent to Congress through this alert. A total of 4,255 PTA advocates have engaged with the alert so far, including 3,348 new advocates who are interacting with our advocacy system for the first time.

PTA Letters to Congress

On June 2, National PTA sent a letter to Congress on the behalf of National PTA President Anna King urging swift bipartisan action addressing the gun violence epidemic and support for policies that ensure our children are protected from harm. That letter reached about 10,000 congressional staff emails. Building on that momentum, National PTA invited state PTAs to join the letter. In total, 42 state PTAs joined the letter to Congress and it was sent to congressional leaders on June 14.

K-12 Education Groups Statement on Gun Violence

On June 8, National PTA joined 17 organizations representing the full breadth of the national K-12 education community, including school superintendents, administrators, educators, school mental health providers, school staff and parents, on a statement calling on Congress to swiftly pass legislation that will address the senseless epidemic of gun violence in this country.

Partnership Event on the National Mall

President-Elect Yvonne Johnson provided moving remarks at a violence prevention event on June 10th hosted at the National Mall in partnership with Brady: United Against Gun Violence, the American Federation of Teachers, March For Our Lives, and This Is Our Lane. In her remarks, Yvonne called attention to PTA’s mission and asked the audience how every child can they reach their full potential if we cannot even protect them from these senseless acts of violence? The event was live streamed through the Brady: United Against Gun Violence Facebook page.

Press Event and Roundtable Discussion in Houston, Texas

President Anna King participated in a roundtable discussion and press event on school safety and gun violence prevention in Houston, TX on May 27. Additional participants included NEA President Becky Pringle, AFT President Randi Weingarten, March for Our Lives Co-Founder David Hogg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Teacher Sarah Lerner, Sandy Hook 2nd Grade Teacher Abbey Clements, and other community, education, and civil rights groups as well as parents and educators from the Texas Latino community. The event was streamed live from National PTA, NEA and AFT’s Facebook pages.

Additional Speaking Engagements

Following the school shooting in Uvalde, President Anna King and President-Elect Yvonne Johnson conducted an interview with an NBC affiliate station in Boston and spoke about school safety, gun violence prevention and how parents can talk to their children about such events. President Anna King also participated in Washington Post Live event on May 25 on youth mental health during which school safety and gun violence prevention were also discussed.

National Wear Orange Campaign

National PTA staff members, Federal Legislative Chairs, and Legislation Committee took part in the National Wear Orange Campaign by wearing orange for gun violence prevention and awareness during the first week of June.


May 25, 2022 Livestream
LIVE: National PTA Calls for Action on Gun Violence Prevention

LIVE: National PTA Calls for Action on Gun Violence Prevention

Posted by National Parent Teacher Association on Wednesday, May 25, 2022

June 28, 2022 Press Release

National PTA Applauds Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
National PTA President Anna King issued this statement. Read it now.


June 1, 2022 Blog

We know all of you and PTA leaders, members and families across the country share our feelings of sadness, anger, fear and confusion. We remain committed to demanding change and supporting you and PTAs and families nationwide.

Read this piece authored by National PTA President Anna King on the official blog for National PTA leaders, One Voice: We are Well Beyond Enough is Enough.

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One Voice, the Official Blog of National PTA





Ways to Take Action on Gun Violence 

Contact Your Members of Congress

 

Use our VoterVoice system to send an urgent message to your members of Congress today to insist they work across the aisle to pass sensible gun safety and violence prevention policies that ensure our children are protected from harm. Start now.

You may also:

  1. Find your Congressional Officials (Zip Code Search)
  2. Sign Up for National PTA Takes Action Advocacy Alerts
  3. Register to Vote

 

PTA Takes Action

 

Use Our Gun Violence Prevention Policy Brief

 

Woman Writing Letter

PTA is all about the power of collective action: We can do anything together, because we can be everywhere at once. National PTA members who participated in our Capitol Hill Day 2022 urged Congress to take action this summer: you, too, can use our policy brief on gun safety and violence prevention to demand change in your community.




Resources on Mental Health, Grief and Loss

Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools

 

Follow these 10 things you can do to prevent violence in your school community.

Talk to Your Children

 

Talking with Children about Difficult Situations

 

Children are aware of what is happening in the world around them. When frightening or violent incidents occur, both children and adults may experience a range of emotions including fear, confusion, sadness and anger. Take a look at the following advice to counteract negative emotions and have successful discussions that promote positive actions.

 

Healthy Minds: Mental Health

 

PTA believes that mental health should be an everyday priority, but it becomes even more important in crisis. So, we've created tips and resources for families at any stage of the journey, including grief and loss.

Healthy Lifestyles