The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) considers school shootings an urgent public health crisis. NASN advocates for a safe and nurturing school environment for all students to enhance student engagement and promote optimal learning. Children exposed to gun violence or who fear gun violence, in their schools and communities are affected both emotionally and physically (Finkelhor, et al, 2009; Fowler, et.al, 2016; Morris, 2009). The United States continues to experience multiple school shootings in which someone is physically wounded or killed (Ahmed & Walker, 2018). These tragedies are devastating to communities across the nation (Bieler, N.D).
NASN opposes the purposeful arming of school teachers since, at this time, there is no research indicating that additional firearms in schools create a safer school environment. We call for Congress to consider more protective gun legislation. NASN supports the CDC engagement in gun violence research to direct the need for additional legislative action. We call for appropriations to fund:
- School based Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (school nurses, school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers) to provide preventive mental health services.
- Evidence based school safety initiatives in every school across America.
Adopted by the NASN Board of Directors: July 2018
Ahmed, S. & Walker, C. (2018). There has been, on average, 1 school shooting each week this year: School shootings so far in 2018. CNN, May 25, 2018. Accessed July 26, 2018 from https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html
Bieler, S. Raising the voices of gun violence. Urban Institute. Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2018). Gun violence: Facts and statistics. Retrieved from https://injury.research.chop.edu/violence-prevention-initiative/types-violence-involving-youth/gun-violence/gun-violence-facts-and - .W1ohadhKjGI
Everytown For Gun Safety. The Impact of gun violence on American children and teenagers. Retrieved from https://everytownresearch.org/impact-gun-violence-american-children-teens/.
Finkelhor D, Turner HA, Ormrod R, Hamby S, Kracke K. Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; 2009. Retrieved from https://everytownresearch.org/impact-gun-violence-american-children-teens/
Fowler, K., Dahlberg, l., Haileyesus, T., Gutierrez, C., Bacon, S. (2016). Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States. Pediatrics. 2017; 140(1). Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/06/15/peds.2016-3486
Morris E. Youth Violence: Implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Urban Youth. National Urban League. Published March 2009. Retrieved from http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/17613
Suggested Citation: National Association of School Nurses. (2018). Gun violence (Position Brief). Silver Spring, MD: Author.
All position briefs from the National Association of School Nurses will automatically expire one year after publication unless renewed and recommended for position statement or other NASN document development.