Albany, New York – On Tuesday, New York State United Teachers released a report that listed recommendations to improve school safety.
According to NYSUT, the main focus of the “Safe School for All” report is to help address the increased social-emotional needs of students who are disruptive in class and the safety issues these students can create for schools.
Union members have talked about these issues over the summer and want to address them proactively, rather than reactively.
The members came up with recommendations that the state, local, and the federal government can implement.
Here are some of the recommendations:
• Prioritize funding to hire critical staff, including dedicated student support specialists, and secure state-recommended staffing ratios for school counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses. Addressing ongoing staff shortages in schools across the state goes hand-in-hand with bolstering school safety.
• Demand that the state issue updated, uniform school safety guidance to alleviate issues stemming from district-by-district — and even school-by-school — variations in procedures ranging from lockdowns to single points of entry.
• Strengthen federal gun safety regulations to eliminate access to high-capacity magazines, establish universal background checks, restrict gun purchases for those under 21 and establish national red flag laws.
• Implement at a district level proven behavioral support practices — such as therapeutic crisis intervention services and restorative practices — reduced class sizes and training for all staff, including school-related professionals, on both safety procedures and student intervention techniques.