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NEA Reiterates Need for Proactive Solutions to Keep Learning Environments Safe

WASHINGTON - April 11, 2008 -

While schools continue to be one of the safest places for children, we, as a society, must have zero-tolerance for violence at school.  NEA President Reg Weaver called on parents, lawmakers and community leaders to take steps necessary to make schools even safer. 

The following statement can be attributed to Reg Weaver:

“Every time we hear about an incident of violence in and around schools, we are alarmed and concerned.  Recent events have caused many of us to sit back and wonder what is going on in our schools.  Unfortunately, that is not the time to have those conversations; they need to happen beforehand. 

“The threat of violence profoundly affects children’s abilities to function at school, develop and maintain emotional stability and establish healthy relationships.  Environments conducive to good teaching and learning – inclusive of school safety – are critical to the educational success of children and students.

“There is no easy solution, but the surest way to ensure children are safe is to involve parents, school boards and communities.  School safety is closely tied to the conditions of families and neighborhoods.   To make schools safer we must address the root causes of the problem by sharing effective strategies to eliminate bullying and harassment, and expanding access to counseling, conflict resolution and peer mediation programs. 

“This incident, as well as others that have surfaced, should serve as a wake-up call.  A safe learning environment requires resources and funding for proven programs that keep schools safe.”

For expert tips to help schools, teachers, parents and students address these issues: .

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823