Real Solutions for Kids and Communities: Safety, Mental Health and Well-being
We're working to further care for children’s mental health and well-being by demanding that social media companies protect, not prey on, children. The report “Likes vs. Learning: The Real Cost of Social Media for Schools” outlines a series of recommendations tech companies must use to keep kids safe and protect learning environments.
Students are experiencing an unprecedented decline in their mental health and well-being. The community of people who work to ensure students have a safe and supported environment in school are overwhelmed by the disruption that is playing out daily in our educational settings. Today we are calling on social media platforms to make fundamental changes to their products that could dramatically improve the day-to-day experiences of millions of students and educators—both online and in schools.
Blogs and Articles
In August 2020, Ryan Lomber, like so many students, struggled to manage multiple crises. Looking back on that time, she remembers feeling isolated because of the pandemic. She was trying to absorb the death of Breonna Taylor, then the murder of George Floyd. She was dealing with what she calls “the insurmountable number of mental health issues” playing out in her Portland, Ore., community and nationally.
AFT President Randi Weingarten’s speech “In Defense of Public Education” highlights key ways we can help students recover and thrive. Before she began, Weingarten asked the crowd to join her for a moment of silence for the victims of the most recent school shooting in Nashville, Tenn., and renewed her call for a ban on assault weapons.
If any school staff member suspects child abuse, neglect or maltreatment, mandatory reporting laws require that they report the incident to child welfare authorities. But for a variety of reasons, those reports can do more harm than good. A new approach—for mandatory supporters rather than mandatory reporters—makes room for a more nuanced response when children and families need a helping hand.
It was a shooting at a high school in Oxford Township, Mich., in 2021, that compelled three educators to co-found Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence. The founders wanted to create an organization to elevate stories of gun violence in schools and communities in order to change policies as well as offer resources and support to educators who face the possibility of gun violence daily. Panelists shared how gun violence led them to find ways to empower educators to raise their voices for change during this TEACH workshop.
Gun Violence Prevention Playlist
The AFT and AAUP Join Forces to protect Academic Freedom and Inclusive Instruction