Following last week’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the American Federation of School Administrators is calling for the formation of a national task force on school safety, education reporter Jackie Zubrzycki writes in this blog post. This effort, the group says, would be separate from a task force announced Wednesday by President Barack Obama’s administration to be focused on gun control, mental health and other issues. That committee will include Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The task force, the goals of which were outlined in a press release dated Dec. 18, would focus on standards for establishing best practices in school safety, for implementing those best practices, and for determining what resources are needed to establish them.
The White House on Wednesday announced a task force focused on gun control, mental health, and other policies that might affect events like last week’s. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will sit on the interagency panel. But the principals’ group is calling for a separate task force focused just on school safety.
“The White House panel will have a much broader array of issues to grapple with,” said AFSA spokesman Nicholas Spina in an email. “The issue of school safety is too important to get lost in this broader discussion or bogged down in politics.”
Spina said the school safety panel ideally should be focused comprised of education professionals: principals, school leaders, teachers, and school safety experts.
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