Addressing mental health needs is a key element of school safety, Martin says

Attorney General Josh Kaul announced this week the release of the Wisconsin School Threat Assessment Protocol and Wisconsin Comprehensive School Security Framework, providing educators and partners a comprehensive set of policies that support school safety efforts. WEAC President Ron Martin joined Kaul and law enforcement and education officials in announcing the framework at a news conference in the West Allis – West Milwaukee School District. “The Wisconsin School Threat Assessment Protocol and Wisconsin Comprehensive School Security Framework will be incredibly beneficial for schools, and specifically for educators and administrators,” Martin said.

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NEA joins Everytown for Gun Safety, AFT to call on lawmakers to adopt proven strategies to make American schools safer

The National Education Association is joining the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and the American Federation of Teachers to call on lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby and take immediate action to finally start protecting our schools from gun violence by implementing strategies that are proven to help improve school safety. The organizations this week released a report that includes new data detailing gun violence in American schools, and provides clear guidance for lawmakers to support policies that have proven to be effective at preventing gun violence and supporting safe and healthy learning environments.

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Commission’s misguided recommendations on school safety undermine civil rights and dishonor the victims of violence, NEA president says

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos created the Federal Commission on School Safety that was supposed to address gun violence in our schools and recommend actions schools should take to keep our students safe. Instead, their commission announced Tuesday that it recommends stripping students’ of civil rights protections, which seek to prevent racial disparities in student discipline. The recommendations “are dishonoring the memory of the students and educators who have lost their lives,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

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WEAC supports mandatory reporting by educators of suspected human trafficking

In a letter to State Superintendent Tony Evers, WEAC President Ron Martin on Thursday said WEAC supports adding “any form of human trafficking” to requirements for mandatory reporting by education employees. “As we work to combat and eradicate sex trafficking, WEAC believes we should also be working to combat any form of human trafficking,” Martin wrote. “Because of that, WEAC supports requiring education employees to report suspected illegal trade of people for commercial gain – both through sexual exploitation and forced labor.”

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DPI announces mental health grants, says much more is needed

The Department of Public Instruction on Monday announced a series of new grants totaling $3.2 million for mental health services in schools, but State Superintendent Tony Evers and advocacy groups said much more is needed. “In a given year, one in five students faces a mental health issue, with more than 80 percent of incidents going untreated,” Evers said. “Those students who do get help, more often than not, receive it through their school.”

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UW-Eau Claire education student says she is fearful, and we’re not doing enough to stop school violence

In a column published by Education Week, UW-Eau Claire education student Rachel Badura – a member of WEAC Aspiring Educators – opens up about her fears of facing school violence as a future teacher. “As it is right now, I have to grasp that I could be asked to carry a weapon while I’m standing in front of my students,” she writes. “As it is right now, I have to seriously consider the fact that my body might become a shield if it means the difference between a child’s life or death. And I have to think about the fact that we are a nation so divided on this issue that almost nothing is being done to prevent more school shootings.”

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WEAC leaders, members participate in Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools

WEAC members and WEAC leaders joined with educators and community members throughout the state Friday to send the message that Enough is Enough when it comes to gun violence in schools. WEAC President Ron Martin and Secretary Treasurer Arlene Braden donned “Enough” T-shirts and then headed to a rally at the State Capitol. WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen joined the Tomahawk Education Association and community members Friday morning during a school walk-in to support safe public schools. Similar activities were taking place Friday throughout the state and nation.

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Students’ 50 Miles More march from Madison culminates with rally in Janesville

An estimated 200 concerned citizens joined students at a rally for common sense gun laws Wednesday in Janesville at the culmination of a 50-mile march by about 40 students. The students marched from Madison to the hometown of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, demanding that he support gun laws that might help prevent another school shooting like the one that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida. The 50 Miles More march was an extension of last weekend’s national March For Our Lives rallies.

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Federal Commission on School Safety excludes voices of students, educators

The Federal Commission on School Safety met for the first time Wednesday behind closed doors at the White House without students, teachers or parents at the table and away from the public’s scrutiny. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators working in America’s public schools and on college campuses, was not invited to attend the meeting. “The commission’s clear purpose is to push an agenda that is focused on a dangerous and misguided plan to put more guns in schools by arming teachers and other school personnel,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Our students need fewer guns in schools — not more of them — and bringing guns into our schools does absolutely nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence.”

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Assembly passes school safety package and sends it to the governor for his signature

The State Assembly on Thursday passed a package of school safety measures and sent it to Governor Walker for his signature. The measures would establish a new Office of School Safety at the state Department of Justice and give it $100 million to provide one-time grants to school districts for security measures. The bill also requires public and private schools to conduct annual school violence drills and requires reporting of school violence threats by teachers, school administrators, counselors, other school employees, physicians, and other medical and mental health professionals.

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