NASP Hosts Congressional Briefing on School Safety

By Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, PhD, NASP Director, Policy and Advocacy

On Wednesday, May 2, NASP, in collaboration with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, hosted a Congressional Briefing entitled “Beyond Metal Detectors: Strategies to Enhance School Climate and Safety.”

Our panelists were Michael O’Neill, school committee member for Boston Public Schools; Melissa Pearrow, PhD, school psychologist and currently an associate professor of counseling and school psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Boston; Frank Zenere, school psychologist and district coordinator of student services/crisis program at Miami Dade Public Schools; and Tommy Welch, Principal of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia.  

The briefing focused on the importance of comprehensive school safety that includes: access to school psychologists and other school-employed mental health professionals; availability of comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services; effective discipline; positive relationships between students and staff; and the importance of building and district leadership in these initiatives. Our panelists also reiterated the importance of local, state, and federal investments to support the ability of schools and districts to engage in and sustain this important work.   

For the first time ever, NASP streamed this event via Facebook Live, and you can watch a full recording of this briefing. I urge you to share this video, as well as the other related resources included on this page with your colleagues and other stakeholders interested in improving school safety and school climate. NASP is following these conversations as they happen across the country, and we will continue to share evidence-based models of how others are working to improve school safety.

If you want to share how your building or district is working to create safe and supportive schools, please contact Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, NASP Director, Policy and Advocacy (