This summer we brought together police officers from across the country who have been instrumental to creating safe learning environments for the youth in their communities. 
The School Safety Forum, hosted this Summer in Austin, Texas, was an opportunity to zero in on what works and seek out public policy that supports the group’s recommendations. 
Rather than advocating for any specific party-line or ideology, we act as a forum for police, educators and citizens to come together and seek out common sense solutions to some of the nation’s most urgent issues. 

Some of our recommendations:

School violence, substance use disorders, mental health concerns and a failing juvenile justice system are issues that have captured headlines and challenged the way we provide education and health care for children and adults who suffer trauma.

Mass shootings, an opioid epidemic, post-traumatic stress disorder and ever growing numbers of kids behind bars may seem like harbingers of hopelessness.  But there is a ray of hope provided by research and programs which are successfully dealing with these problems.  Now it is up to each of us to roll up our sleeves and act locally to change the tide of violence.

Working with ChaplainUSA, we have gathered lots of research and solid information for schools and law enforcement to consider in creating a safer school environment. 

Each of them provides an understanding of the problems facing us with the above-mentioned issues as well as ways to bring about changes.

A good first step with your personal action initiative would be to read them:

  1. Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs); How they are influencing violence and the healthcare crisis in our country.
  2. Using Trauma Informed Care to End Suffering; How to heal wounds while promoting resilience in schools and other institutions.
  3. Making Our Schools Safe; How we can find better ways to better serve and educate our children.
  4. Erasing Barriers to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders; How to fix the systems that treat the opioid epidemic and mental illness.
  5. Making The Juvenile Justice System Just; How we can turn the tide on a lifetime of crime and victimization.

HOW CAN I HELP?

Join the Movement to Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences, Heal Trauma and Build Resilience; Bring an End to School Violence

Most states are actively organizing ACEs task forces and trauma informed care projects.  Here is an up-to-date resource guide link to each locale with ways for you to get involved:

https://www.acesconnection.com/blog/state-projects

Each and every state also has an ACEs profile page which can be downloaded as a pdf file so that you can spread the word about what is going on in your area. 

https://www.acesconnection.com/g/state-aces-action-group/blog/state-profiles-list-of-50-states-and-district-of-columbia-with-links-to-individual-profiles

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in Texas even offers a certification in Trauma Informed Care.  Check it out and become a valuable member of a local action team:

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Training/Trauma_Informed_Care/

Join SaferSanerSchools™ Whole-School Change program.  It is a cost-effective way to achieve lasting change that enhances and builds relationships between students, staff and parents, improves student behavior, reduces violence and bullying and creates a sense of community. This is something that you can promote to school authorities which will help the school leadership and staff develop a customized plan based on its own needs and goals.

http://www.iirp.edu/pdf/SaferSanerSchools-Program.pdf

Finally, take some time to screen the movie Paper Tigers available on YouTube for $4.00.  I assure you that your desire to help will become fueled with passion.  You can be the person who changes everything.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” ~ Robert Francis Kennedy