Bethesda, MD—As part of the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) commitment to ensure all children’s safety, well-being, and ability to thrive in school, at home, and throughout life, NASP has adopted the “Resolution to Support Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence
”. The work of NASP is grounded in its mission, professional standards, position statements, resolutions, policies, and advocacy platforms, all of which are guided by research.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 34,000 people die as a result of gun violence each year, approximately two thirds of which are the result of suicide, and for every person who dies, two more are injured. NASP aspires to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier schools, homes, and communities.
School psychologists use their expertise in psychology and education to promote school, family, and community environments that are safe and healthy for children. They have specific expertise in mental and behavioral health, the complex causes of violence, effects of exposure to violence and traumatic events on learning and well-being, and risks and interventions for suicide. Like pediatricians and other mental health practitioners, school psychologists routinely screen for access to guns in the home when doing a suicide or threat assessment as a best practice for intervening with at-risk youth.
“Access to firearms is highly associated with increased risk of injury and death among youth,” notes NASP President John Kelly. “And research is clear that exposure to gun violence is highly associated with diminished social, emotional, and academic well-being among youth. It is our responsibility to advocate for the policies and practices that will reduce gun violence.”
The principles articulated in this resolution guide the work of the Association and our advocacy regarding public policy and school safety practices. NASP supports public policies that: support rigorous enforcement of existing gun laws; promotes efforts to improve awareness of gun safety practices; ensures comprehensive background checks; enhances efforts to ensure only appropriate access to guns, including keeping them out of the hands of individuals deemed at risk of hurting themselves and others; elimination of the Dickey Amendment and increased investment in research on gun violence.
NASP is committed to working with policy makers and allied stakeholders to enact effective laws and policies that reduce gun violence and fatalities, and NASP believes that doing so is necessary to helping all children thrive at home, in school, and throughout life.
NASP represents 25,000 school psychologists throughout the United States and abroad. NASP empowers school psychologists by advancing effective practices to improve students’ learning, behavior, and mental health.
For further information, contact: Katherine Cowan, Director of Communications, 301-347-1665, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nasponline.org
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