The side of a school bus with cordon tape that reads "CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS".

Scholars Issue Call for Evidence-Based Action to Prevent School Violence

A nationwide coalition of scholars who have conducted decades of research into school safety has issued an eight-point plan for immediate government action to reduce gun violence. The coalition, including Ron Avi Astor, a professor of social welfare and education at UCLA, called for a comprehensive public health approach to gun violence that is informed by scientific evidence. The recommendations come days after a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead. “The recent mass shootings across the country are another painful reminder of failed efforts to stop the kind of gun violence that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly 10 years ago,” according to a statement by the coalition known as the Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence. The researchers called for a new mindset that prioritizes prevention over reaction. “A focus on simply preparing for shootings is insufficient,” they said. “Prevention entails more than security measures and begins long before a gunman comes to school.” Several of the recommendations focus on limiting access to firearms, including a ban on assault-style weapons and comprehensive background checks for gun buyers. The coalition also calls for a national program to train culturally proficient crisis intervention and threat assessment teams at the school and community level, as well as a requirement that schools assess their learning environments to ensure that they are physically and emotionally safe. “It is time for federal and state authorities to take immediate action to enact these proposals,” the coalition said. “We contend that well-executed laws can reduce gun violence while protecting all constitutional rights.”

2 replies
  1. Catherine Christo
    Catherine Christo says:

    The recommednations in this call to action are laudable and certainly all of us who have worked in schools wish to promote positive mental health of students. However, the core issue is guns. As stated “Licensing and bans on large capacity ammunition feeding devices prevent fatal mass shootings”. When the recommendation to ban high capacity weapons is placed along with a mental health recommendation, and in second position at that, it becomes one of a list not the core issue. Mental health issues will always be with us but guns don’t have to be a given. It is the guns that kill people, not mental illness. Please have the courage to strongly recommend, above all else, the most obvious solution to our ongoing mass shootings whether they occur in schools, churches or grocery stores.
    Catherine Christo
    Professor Emeritus
    Sacramento State University

  2. Stephanie Wachman
    Stephanie Wachman says:

    I feel that if we make sure we are creating an environment and relationships with our students and families who want to be successful in the future. We need advisory boards and the mind-body connection between mental and physical mental care of the children. Social workers psychologists and therapist ect. Need to be implemented into the schools


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