As leaders and instructors at colleges and universities, we train teachers. We help both new and experienced teachers understand how best to help K12 students learn and grow. Thus, we have a distinct perspective on school safety.
As teacher educators, we greatly admire the efforts by K12 students and educators to promote debate on school safety. We call attention to the National Day of Action to Prevent Gun Violence in Schools on April 20, 2018.
As teacher educators, we affirm the following:
- We believe in educating students to be engaged citizens in a democracy, so we uphold students’ rights to peaceful expression and activism. Schools should encourage awareness and engagement with current events, especially issues that directly affect K12 students.
- We believe that social problems and public safety problems can be better understood and addressed through research, so we uphold scientists’ right to pursue the truth wherever it may lead. Researchers should have access to public funding without regard for the possible political impact of their results.
- We believe that gun violence in schools can be a symptom of deeper, persistent issues, which can include intolerance, bullying, and other toxicity. We believe that differences can be a source of strength, so we emphasize the need for all schools to be safe, welcoming learning communities where all students can succeed.
Prepared by Dr. Kym Buchanan (UW-Stevens Point) and Dr. Jesslyn Hollar (Edgewood College), on behalf of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (WACTE)