AASA Addresses Student Safety


Contact: Kitty Porterfield, kporterfield@aasa.org, 703-774-6953

Alexandria, Va., Dec. 22, 2012 - American Association of School Administrators (AASA) executive director, Daniel A. Domenech, today issued the following statement:

"The recent shootings at the elementary school in Newtown, CT, bring into focus once again the question of how we can best protect our children. Parents send their children off to school in the morning, trusting that they will return home at the end of the school day. When that doesn’t happen, we are shocked and want to know immediately why and what can we do to ensure that our children remain safe. Sometimes the answers are complicated and hard to find.

"My own experience—as a superintendent for nearly 30 years—is that armed guards in schools cannot stop shootings. American schools are large buildings, designed with many doors for other safety reasons, and it is not possible for a school resource officer or other guard to stop a determined shooter with an automatic weapon and a large ammunition magazine.

"These are issues that we must face as a community and work together to solve. There is no one simple solution. We must adopt a comprehensive approach: increased mental health services, community supports for youth, new attitudes about violence in our entertainment, as well as new gun safety measures. We must be willing to spend the time and resources necessary to make sustainable changes.

"In these next days, while our elected officials debate what new laws should be enacted and what regulations should be changed, superintendents, principals, teachers, and other school staff members all across this country are reviewing their school emergency plans, talking with staff members and local safety officials, and renewing their efforts to ensure that when students return to school in the new year, they will return to a secure environment where teaching and learning can once again take place."

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