Monday, April 23, 2012

Resources: Gangs and school safety

Keeping kids safe is a fundamental principle of PTA and the link between poverty and poor educational outcomes to violence and gang-related activity is well-documented. So what to do?

Well for one, we can recognize the relationship between behaviors and gang involvement and work to provide a safe and secure learning environment. That’s what they are doing in Pasco. Others are focusing on data to craft better policy and identify professional training needs.

The statewide taskforce on Gangs in Schools met recently and posted some great information on the state superintendent’s Safety in Schools website,

Here are 2 links PTA members may find helpful in their advocacy.
I encourage members review the data, especially the Healthy Youth Survey (an abbreviated version posted at the above Gangs in School website connects school success to at-risk behaviors). There is also a report on juvenile justice reform (one of our short-term state legislative issues).

Also, here is a link to the Healthy Youth Survey website, where you can find the full report:
(Members involved in childhood health advocacy and will also find great information in the survey.)

Dealing with exposure to violence is one of Washington State PTA’s perennial issues. We’ve had a resolution  (pages 9-10) on the topic since 1994; it is also addressed in our long-term legislative principles.

- Ramona Hattendorf, WSPTA Government Relations Coordinator
What should PTA advocate for? Deadline for platform proposals is June 1!

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