PTSA Board Urges Actions for Student Safety

STATEMENT by Garfield High School PTSA Board of Directors

Approved on March 21, 2024

Ongoing violence in the Central District has alarmed, frustrated, and saddened all of us in this vibrant and historic community. Garfield High School PTSA Board members have spent the week since the most recent incident reflecting, talking with students, staff, and families, on what to do. We want to ensure that our students’ voices and needs, above all, are heard. 

With that reflection, we call on the Seattle Public Schools Leadership, the City of Seattle, and leadership throughout the community to take the following actions NOW: 

  1. SPS MUST fund additional security personnel on campus on an ongoing, continual basis. GHS is staffed with the same number of security personnel – two – as much smaller Seattle public high schools.
  1. SPS needs to provide increased, immediate mental health support following instances of violence. Students and staff need time and trained personnel to help process and heal from this kind of trauma.  SPS should prioritize sending the trauma response teams to the school within 24 hours of an incident, above all other priorities or initiatives. 
  1. Given the Seattle Public Schools budget crisis, Seattle City leadership MUST fund additional safety-related resources, potentially by contracting with one or more of the organizations that already work to promote student health and safety in our school and our community.
  1. The Washington Legislature and Governor Inslee need to work harder at getting guns off the street. In particular, they need to repeal statute RCW 9.41.290 in order to allow cities to create specific gun control measures. 

We, the PTSA Board, challenge our community leaders to make these changes to protect our precious students, our phenomenal staff, and our glorious community. We will continue to listen to our students, families, staff, and community partners as we prioritize actions for our leaders to take to keep our community safe.

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