AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

THE ROLE OF PSRPs IN PREVENTING SCHOOL VIOLENCE AND MAINTAINING SAFE AND ORDERLY SCHOOLS

WHEREAS, recent statistics from the United States Department of Education show that school crime and violence have dramatically declined over the last five years, including a sharp decline in the number of weapons carried onto school campuses; and

WHEREAS, as members of the school team, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel can take pride in the fact that schools remain one of the safest places for children; and

WHEREAS, although PSRPs can and do make major contributions to a school or school district's comprehensive effort to maintain discipline and keep schools safe, they are often excluded from opportunities to participate formally in the planning and implementation of school safety activities and often volunteer their assistance on their own initiative out of a sense of duty, pride and commitment to students and the community; and

WHEREAS, while paraprofessionals and school-related personnel make important contributions to keeping schools safe and orderly on a daily basis, they can be key to preventing the rare but troubling incidents of violent behavior that have horrified the nation and created concern among students, parents and school staff; and

WHEREAS, research has shown that students prone to commit extremely violent acts often exhibit warning signs outside the classroom-on playgrounds, in school cafeterias and on the school bus where paraprofessionals and school-related personnel are on the front lines; and

WHEREAS, efforts to reduce the number of these extremely violent incidents and to make continued progress in improving the climate of safety in schools can only be helped by the formal inclusion and participation of paraprofessionals and school-related personnel:

RESOLVED, that the AFT promote the role PSRPs play and the contributions that they make to maintaining safe and orderly schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT encourage and assist its affiliates in their efforts to compel school districts and individual schools to include PSRPs in the development and implementation of school safety plans; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT support its affiliates in their efforts to have school districts provide professional development opportunities and training for PSRPs on a variety of topics related to school safety and the prevention of violence, especially training programs that help PSRPs recognize the warning signs of potentially violent behavior in students; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT develop strategies and support efforts, including public relations, legislation, collective bargaining and political action, to recognize the role PSRPs play in maintaining safe and violence-free schools and ensuring that PSRPs are guaranteed the opportunities to formally participate in the development and implementation of safe school plans.


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