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Letter to Representative Mark Kirk supporting the Student and Teacher Safety Act

May 09, 2007

Dear Representative Kirk:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the Student and Teacher Safety Act, which will help ensure a safe teaching and learning environment in all public schools. 

NEA believes that a safe and effective learning climate is necessary for promoting educational excellence in public schools. All students and education employees must be safe from violence, and procedures must be in place to prevent and eliminate all types of disruption or harassment that might occur. 

Your bill will help promote a safe school environment by requiring districts to have in place policies addressing reasonable student searches. Specifically, required policies under your bill must allow education employees or school officials to conduct student searches when acting on reasonable suspicion based on professional experience and judgment. We believe that such policies will help ensure that classrooms, school buildings, school property, and students remain free from the threat of weapons and other dangerous materials. 

We believe your bill strikes a proper balance between ensuring the safety of students and educators and protecting student rights. We thank you for your efforts on this important issue and we look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure great public schools for every student.


Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy