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TEACHERS WITH GUNS OR COUNSELORS WITH UNDERSTANDING?

TEACHERS WITH GUNS OR COUNSELORS WITH UNDERSTANDING?

LIMITED RESOURCES

I don’t usually like either/ors but US congressional priorities constantly leave our schools in a state of limited resources. Therefore, it is important to use the best research to determine how best to grow safety for children in our schools. Some are proposing more School Resource Officers, others suggest we should arm more teachers.

An overview of available research tells us that these are the least effective means of lowering school violence. In fact, consider this research, “When a School Resource Officer (or SRO) is assigned to a school, students are five times more likely to be arrested for disorderly conduct than at a school where there is no SRO.” 1

ART AND PSYCHOLOGISTS

In their new book, Sir Ken Robinson, Ph. D and Lou Aronica, suggest that increasing the arts in schools has been proven to help reduce school violence and increase student empathy.2

Introducing more school psychologists in earlier grades does help identify mental illness early and gives parents and teachers an opportunity to address these issues as they are surfacing and when they are most responsive to treatment.3

DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS

As the US Congress prepares to decide funding priorities for keeping schools safer in Mid-May, let’s hope they take a reasonable and hard look at the data that is available and not just succumb to ideologies or lobbyists who are pushing an agenda that could actually increase school violence.

REFERENCES

1 How YOUR response to student behavior can change the trajectory of a child’s life, Angela Watson, April 09, 2018, https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/restorative-justice-in-the-classroom/

2 What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art, Excerpt from You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Educationby Sir Ken Robinson, Ph. D and Lou Aronica, published on March 13, 2018 by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright by Ken Robinson, 2018., KQED, April 09, 2018, https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-what-happens-to-student-behavior-when-s/f-a125ed4672%2Fkqed.org

3 Psychologists: Early help could deter school violence, Gary D. Robertson, April 10, 2018, AP News, https://apnews.com/e24dca54c4ab462d888ba3ca5dce2c46

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