Who We Are

In March 2018, the MI PTA Council Advocacy committee recognized the need to take action related to Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) and formed a group open to interested members in any of the district’s PTA units.

 

Mission

Educate and engage the Mercer Island community on issues of gun violence and firearm safety consistent with National PTA and Washington State PTA platforms, including:

  • Safe storage devices including locks to prevent accidental discharge
  • Waiting period and universal background checks
  • Raise awareness about Federal and State ERPO laws
  • Knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices
  • Outlaw military-style semi-automatic assault weapons
  • Educate students, parents and community members about gun safety and violence prevention, including suicide prevention

Priorities

Our efforts align with the Legislative Priorities determined annually at WSPTA Legislative Assembly. Representatives from our group attend Legislative Assembly to lend our voices and advance our goals. In October of 2019 the first-ever Resolution on “Gun Violence Prevention and Safety” was adopted as a long-term platform goal.

 

View all five WSPTA Legislative Priorities and Supported Issues here. Our current priorities include:

  • Community Engagement: Educate and advocate for best-practice GVP methods, connect students and community members with GVP resources, adopt community campaigns such as the ASK and Lock It Up campaigns
  • School Safety: Advocate for Anonymous Safety Tip Line and age-appropriate GVP programming, including Suicide Prevention, in our schools. National PTA recommends Know The Signs programming as developed by Sandy Hook Promise, Emergency Preparedness, uphold the National PTA School Safety recommendations here and here.
  • Legislative Advocacy: Educate and empower students and parents to be effective advocates for GVP legislation.
  • PTA Outreach: Support and amplify GVP advocacy in other PTAs.

Please Join Us

Those interested in helping to advance the National PTA position, as well as the Washington State PTA positions on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention, are encouraged to sign up for our communications, as well as attend our meetings. To reach current leadership, please email gvp@miptacouncil.org.

 

Sign up for newsletter here

 

GVP News

  • In November 2018, Washington State passed Initiative 1639 with the help of thousands of volunteers across the state, including many on Mercer Island. The measure raises the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles to 21 years of age, improves background checks, and requires safe storage of firearms. All elementary school, middle school and high school PTAs in Mercer Island voted to endorse 1639.
  • In October 2019, WSPTA passed a resolution at the annual state Legislative Assembly to prevent gun violence and amended the 2018 legislative issue to prevent gun violence as a top five priority through 2020.
  • Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, funding for MIYFS school counselors will be reduced. Because we recognize the importance of mental health counselors as part of a comprehensive and community-based approach to GVP, including suicide prevention, we champion efforts for mental health funding in our schools and community.

Priorities

Mercer Island PTA GVP efforts align with WSPTA Legislative Priorities determined at WSPTA Legislative Assembly. Representatives from our group attended Legislative Assembly in October 2018 in Auburn, WA, to lend our voices and advance our goals. A Top 5 Legislative Priority for the 2019 is the Issue to “Prevent Gun Violence.” This Issue was amended at Legislative Assembly in Bellevue, WA, in October of 2019, where over 15 members as well as two students from Mercer Island PTAs attended, and the first-ever Resolution on “Gun Violence Prevention and Safety” was adopted as a long-term platform goal. View all five WSPTA Legislative Priorities and Supported Issues here.

 

Specifically, GVP sub-committee is organizing around the following priorities as identified by members of our group:

  • Educate parents, students, and our larger community about the risks of gun violence in our community, county and state and act a resource to advocate for best-practice gun violence prevention and student safety strategies. In 2020, members have focused on developing a communication about the practices and policies MISD has in place related to threat and emergency preparedness in our schools. We have also advocated with our district administration and other community stakeholders to adopt a student safety reporting system/tip-line.
  • Introduce age-appropriate GVP programming, including suicide prevention, in our schools. Work with students, especially at the high school, to empower and support their efforts. National PTA recommends Know The Signs programming as developed by Sandy Hook Promise. You can find out more about School Safety recommendations here, including a link to watch the webinar School Safety – Mobilizing for Change
  • Create or adopt campaigns to raise awareness of GVP-related issues in the community. In 2019 this included the ASK – (Asking Saves Kids) campaign developed by the Brady Center, which focused on normalizing the conversation for parents around asking the questions, “Do you have guns in the home? If so, are they safely/securely stored?”
  • Educate and empower parents to be effective advocates for GVP legislation.
  • Support and amplify GVP advocacy in other PTAs.


Links

Sign up for the MI PTA GVP Group Newsletter

 

National PTA Position Statement on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention

 

WSPTA Resolution on Gun Violence Prevention and Safety – Students and School Staff

 

WSPTA Legislative Priority 2020 – Prevent Gun Violence

 

Mercer Island School District Resolution No. 665 – School Safety And Prevention of Gun Violence (adopted 3/2018)

 

Full text of Initiative 1639

 

National PTA family resources on school safety

 

National PTA Position Statement – Child Safety and Protection

Mercer Island PTAs

 

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