Legislative Update

Please Take action NOW for Safe and Supportive Schools! Contact your MA State Senator in support of Amendment #52 of the Gun Violence Prevention bill!

Every child in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should be entitled to a safe, supportive school environment. In recognition of this, the Speaker’s gun violence prevention bill passed the House on July 10th, and incorporated Safe and Supportive Schools (H. 3528).

Unfortunately, the Senate version of the bill does not include Safe and Supportive Schools, and the bill is coming up for a vote TODAY, July 17. Please take action by contacting your senator NOW to urge them to support Senator DiDomenico’s amendment #52 to incorporate Safe and Supportive Schools in the Senate’s gun violence prevention bill (S. 2265)

Safe and Supportive Schools is legislation whose advocacy is spearheaded by MAC’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative with a coalition of over 30 organizations behind it, including the Children’s Mental Health Campaign. Please read this page for more information about the legislation. Its passage would constitute a major step forward in making the Commonwealth’s schools safe and supportive for all of our children, a critical goal in its own right and also an important preventive measure that will reduce gun violence.

 

An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools 

TLPI and its Coalition for Safe and Supportive Schools are currently advocating for an Act Relative to  Safe and Supportive Schools , which is pending before the Massachusetts legislature. If passed, the law will help establish a statewide infrastructure that empowers schools to create safe and supportive environments where all children can learn and succeed.  It will provide schools and districts with the Safe and Supportive Schools Framework, an organizational tool to help them develop action plans.

If passed, this law will:

  • Define a safe and supportive school and establish in law a state-wide Safe and Supportive Schools Framework.
  • Direct all schools, by 2016, to include actions for creating safe and supportive environments and cultures in the School Improvement Plans that are already required under MGL c. 69 § 1I.
  • Establish a commission to assist with statewide implementation of the Safe and Supportive Schools Framework in schools and to make ongoing recommendations.
  • Establish a Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program to fund exemplar schools who wish to serve as models in creating safe and supportive schools.
  • Provide a self-assessment tool to help schools create their action plans and provide technical assistance to schools and districts.

Why kids need this law:

  • Many students are not achieving their full academic potential. Research shows that safe and supportive whole-school environments are a necessary foundation for improving educational outcomes.
  • The Safe and Supportive Schools law will help reduce the achievement gap by providing all students with safe and supportive whole-school learning environments.

Why schools want this law:

  • Schools are struggling to implement student support initiatives effectively. Educators want a way to align these initiatives — including bullying prevention, dropout prevention, truancy reduction, trauma sensitivity, and social/emotional learning — that make schools safe and supportive.
  • The Safe and Supportive Schools law will provide all schools with an organizational tool and a consistent, locally-tailored process to create the whole-school environments students need.