On March 1, 2014, the Boston Globe published the following Letter to the Editor by TLPI on why An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools (H3528) should pass. This law would provide a statewide framework to help schools create the safe and supportive school-wide cultures that are the foundation for a trauma-sensitive school.
Kudos to Boston Public Schools for developing its innovative Saturdays for Success anti-bullying program (“Bullying affects mental health for years,” g, Feb. 24). What’s particularly impressive about Boston’s program is the approach the city took toward creating it: Officials identified a pressing issue in the district and incorporated anti-bullying skill-building into an already successful program.
All children need safe, supportive school environments to learn and achieve their full potential. But schools find it challenging to coordinate and implement an array of important initiatives, including not only anti-bullying programs but dropout, truancy, and violence prevention; positive discipline; and support for social and emotional development.
An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools, currently in the House Committee on Ways and Means, would provide schools with a framework to coordinate multiple initiatives in order to create a safe, supportive school culture. Saturdays for Success represents one success story. This legislation would lead to many exciting success stories across the Commonwealth.
Cole is director of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a joint program of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School, where Polans is a clinical law student.