Take Action: Urge Congress to Prioritize the Mental Health of Students by Passing the STANDUP Act

At the beginning of the school year, due to the continuing pandemic, families focused on their children’s safe return to class. However, this pandemic has exacerbated a crisis that existed prior. Across the country, local emergency departments are recording dramatic increases in all mental health emergencies, including suspected suicide attempts. Our country is currently witnessing soaring rates of mental health challenges among our children and it is inextricably tied to the stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Childhood mental health concerns and suicide rates have steadily risen in the last decade. By 2018, suicide became the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association have officially declared a national emergency in children and adolescent mental health. Additionally, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory report to highlight the current youth mental health crisis in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act (STANDUP Act) is the first federal legislation providing uniform research-based suicide prevention and awareness standards in schools to address the mental health needs of students. The bill currently has 46 bipartisan sponsors (38 Democrats and 8 Republicans).

 

PTA calls on Congress and the Administration to immediately address the many factors that contribute to the mental health crisis in the United States. Our association strongly encourages efforts that establish comprehensive community mental health. In addition, our organization supports all programs and projects that educate and inform parents, students and the general public about youth suicide prevention and support services for survivors of a suicide attempt.

 

The STANDUP Act has already passed in the Senate. Now it is the House of Representatives’ turn to cast the final vote! Take action today and urge your representative to vote to prioritize youth suicide prevention and vote “Yes” on the STANDUP Act!


Register Now: National PTA Vaccine Hesitancy Webinar 1 Week Away

Your PTA has been working extra hard to support children and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. School communities know they can count on PTA as a trusted source for timely and helpful information to keep our children healthy, safe and learning. Let’s work together to keep our kids safe by joining us for an important conversation about vaccines.

Register for our webinar, “Take Action to Keep Kids Safely in School: What Your PTA Can Do to Address Vaccine Hesitancy,” where we will address concerns and questions about vaccines and share the benefits of getting your child vaccinated and boosted. You will also learn more about specific actions your PTA can take and hear examples of how you can partner with other community organizations in this effort. We will be joined by Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States, community organizations and fellow PTA leaders. The webinar will be Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST. Register now!


Parents Feedback Needed for a Funded Research Project. Honorarium Provided!

Background: 80% of teachers and parents say their kids would be more interested in learning tools that include popular entertainment, and 70% think the traditional classroom learning environment will rely more heavily on technology after the COVID pandemic. The Achievery (currently in Beta version), created by AT&T in collaboration with WarnerMedia, is a FREE educational platform designed to make online learning more entertaining, engaging and inspiring for today’s connected students. 

 

The Achievery will officially launch this Spring. Before then, AT&T wants to hear feedback from parents, caregivers and families about their experience using The AchieveryFeedback is confidential and will be used to help enhance The Achievery and the connected learning experience for families, like yours, using the platform. 

 

The Opportunity: Each cohort member will receive a $50 honoraria, and be expected to: 

  1. Preview a pre-recorded session to learn about The Achievery, and complete an initial survey.  
  2. Explore The Achievery and complete 2-3 lesson activities with the students in grades 3-8 in your family.  
  1. Provide feedback on the digital learning platform by completing The Achievery feedback survey.  

 

This project will run from January 28 – February 11, 2022. 

 

We are seeking 300 parents and caregivers to participate in the cohort, and we would love for some of them to be from your community.  We welcome both PTA and non-PTA parents and guardians of kids in grades 3-12!   

 

Please share this opportunity with your network of families.  Interested in having your family participate too? Please complete this enrollment form by Friday, January 28, 2022.   

 

Questions?  Contact hparker@pta.org.


National PTA and U.S. Department of Education to Honor Student Artists from Across the Country at Virtual Showcase

WHAT

On Tuesday, Jan. 25, National PTA will host a virtual showcase to continue to celebrate students from across the country for their talents and creativity in the arts. The event will feature remarks from National PTA President Anna King and U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, as well as a selection of virtual student performances and a virtual exhibit of artwork created by the over 200 honorees of the 2020-2021 National PTA Reflections program, themed “I Matter Because…”

Each year, the National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts—that reflect on the annual theme. Submissions are reviewed by arts experts in the mediums, and students are recognized for their artistic technique and ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. For over 50 years, the National PTA Reflections program has provided opportunities for millions of students to access the arts and gain recognition, which boosts student confidence and success in and out of the classroom. Participating in the arts also helps students express their thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions, which is especially important to support children’s well-being during this time in our country.

WHEN
7 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

 

WHERE
National PTA’s YouTube Channel (YouTube.com/NationalPTA)

WHO

  • National PTA President, Anna King
  • U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona
  • 2020-2021 National PTA Reflections Student Honorees

Statement on Nationwide School Shooting Threats

National PTA is aware of public reporting that suggests possible threats to schools today, Friday, Dec. 17. Currently, PTA does not have any information indicating any specific, credible threats.

As you know, National PTA has a formal relationship with some social networking companies, like TikTok, through our PTA Connected initiative. This relationship gives us the opportunity to have direct, productive conversations so we can both deliver feedback and receive information.

This afternoon, we reached out to our partners to obtain more information about this particular social media rumor that has been widely reported by the media. TikTok responded to let us know that they have found no evidence of these threats on their platform, nor is there any “challenge” related to these threats.

However, TikTok also mentioned they have aggressively investigated their platform and remain alert to potential threats. Additionally, TikTok has coordinated with law enforcement officials, who have confirmed no credible threats have been reported to date.

TikTok previously commissioned third-party research on dangerous challenges and hoaxes and worked with experts to develop best practices to help stop hoaxes from being perpetuated. We encourage you to share this information to help educators and families assess viral warnings—including hoaxes—and report content to TikTok.

We also want to make you aware of the TikTok Guide for Parents we created with TikTok, as it contains critical information about the parental controls available to families on the platform as well as important digital safety information. We urge all families and caregivers to have open and ongoing conversations about digital safety and etiquette to ensure children are using technology responsibly.

Here is how to report content you believe may violate TikTok’s Community Guidelines so that the app’s safety team can review your report and take appropriate action. To report a video:

  1. Long-press (also known as press-and-hold) on the video
  2. Look for the pop-up and select ‘report’
  3. Choose the appropriate policy
  4. Tap ‘submit’

You can visit TikTok’s Support Page to learn more about reporting.

Thank you for all you are doing to support PTA’s mission and to ensure that families have timely resources and information. We appreciate your diligence and hard work to keep our children safe.

 

Disclosure: TikTok is a Proud National PTA Sponsor. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product or service.