All Children Deserve Social-Emotional Learning Skills to Reduce Violence and Build Supportive Communities
The vast majority of Americans have been left reeling in the wake of the Supreme Court's disastrous ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and national reproductive rights. But sadly, it's not the only horrific decision to come out of the Supreme Court recently. Just before it stamped out Roe, the court also went after states' abilities to enact gun safety regulation. And it basically said: "No."signersigner
In a year that has already seen numerous gruesome mass shootings, including in a Texas elementary school, we have to honestly address the unique - and preventable - tragedy of gun violence in the U.S. We need more gun safety regulations. And we also need better social-emotional learning programs for kids - especially if the Supreme Court won't let us enact other gun safety laws right now.
Sign the petition to urge all 50 U.S. states to fully fund social-emotional learning programs in schools, led by qualified counselors, to prevent horrible violence!
The other main strategy that Republicans are suggesting involves arming teachers or placing armed guards in schools. That just means more guns around young, vulnerable people. And as we all saw in Uvalde, Texas, having police with guns at the scene did absolutely nothing to stop the problem. Police famously waited for 12 minutes outside classrooms, refusing to interrupt the shooter and save the children. Clearly, police do not prevent school violence or other mass shootings. But social-emotional learning could.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculums help teach young people healthy, safe ways to express themselves and de-escalate intense emotions. It can involve teaching children emotion-regulation skills to manage hard feelings, as well as interpersonal skills to resolve conflicts with each other and build stronger, more vibrant relationships. It can also, even more simply, help students learn how to become aware of, identify, and understand their emotions.
Such educational programs are good for students and everyone around them. They help academically, leading to better grades and an easier learning environment. They also increase children's ability to experience empathy for other people, and build more supportive communities.
It should be obvious that all children deserve this sort of emotional training. But strangely, some extreme right-wing groups oppose both SEL and gun safety regulations. We can't let their voices drown out the voices of reason: our voices. We do need gun safety laws. And we also need to teach our kids how to manage their emotions and healthily communicate with others. This could also help with reducing the heartbreaking levels of self-harm and suicide among young people.
All children need more access to qualified psychotherapists in schools. And one way to get them that access is through universal SEL in all schools, across the whole country. This is a smart way to keep our kids healthier and safer.
Sign the petition to tell all 50 U.S. state governments that they must fund counselor-led social-emotional learning programs in schools. Instead of arming guards or paying cops who refuse to stop mass shootings, reallocate that funding to this smart preventative measure that benefits society in so many ways.