***Post written by Rachel Roberts, GPR Liaison for WSPA***

July 17th was NASP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI) Virtual Hill Day, in which participants spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with their elected federal officials.  The purpose of these meetings was to advocate for public policy that supports student engagement and success and promotes safety and supportive learning environments.  To provide all school psychologists with a general understanding of NASP’s public policy priorities and relevant legislation being considered to Congress, NASP provided a document entitled, Key Messages and Talking Points for School Psychologists Regarding School Safety.  It provides broader discussion points pertaining to school safety and mental health supports and specifically indicates how the role of a school psychologist is critical in supporting student mental health and safety.  Many of the key messages were related to comprehensive approaches to school safety, increased access to mental and behavioral health services, and the need for improved ratios for school psychologists.

Although the day has passed to collectively come together and advocate, we always have an opportunity to get our voices heard.  I feel the best way to advocate is to continue to educate; educate others on what a school psychologist is and does, and how we support our students, staff, and schools.  To send our messages further and support safer schools and our profession, we can contact our legislators and share our opinions and stories, too.

Review the above mentioned document, Key Messages and Talking Points for School Psychologists Regarding School Safety, and other related resources and position statements at NASP’s Comprehensive School Safety Critical Policy Issues.

To advocate for effective, evidence-based school safety policy, NASP has provided this link to write our legislators, which will provide a couple of sample letters that can be revised to reflect your opinions and recommendations.