National PTA Statement on the Passing of Colin Powell

National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement on the passing of General Colin Powell:

“National PTA and our millions of family, students, educators and community leaders share in the mourning of the loss of General Colin Powell—a veteran, statesman and ardent advocate for the success and well-being every child in this country. We extend our deepest condolences to Mrs. Alma Powell and the rest of the Powell family.

As the first African American to be Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Advisor, General Powell lived his life with honor and dignity—showing many of us that we can achieve any position or career we set our minds to, regardless of race, ethnicity or cultural background.

National PTA is proud to have partnered with his organization, America’s Promise, on the key issues affecting our children. We will honor General Powell’s legacy by continuing to provide every child with the tools and opportunities they need to learn and grow so that they can thrive.”


National PTA Statement on School Shooting at Timberview High School

When this school year began, many families focused on readjusting to a new normal and making sure our students and teachers were healthy and ready for the new school year. We were optimistic and up for the challenge. Instead, our students are facing weekly threats of gun violence and active school shootings. Yesterday, a high school student shot four people in Arlington, Texas and now our entire nation is yet again reminded that our schools are not safe. When does it end?

 

National PTA extends its deepest condolences to Timberview High School, its community and all those impacted by this tragedy. The safety of our schools is one of our association’s top priorities. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with elected officials and education advocates to provide students with mental health support while leading the call to urge Congress to pass legislation on gun violence prevention and increased school safety measures.


National PTA and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Team Up to Reduce and Prevent Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids announced today a new collaboration to raise awareness of and help prevent e-cigarette and other tobacco use among youth. With 3.6 million kids using e-cigarettes, including nearly 1 in 5 high school students, youth e-cigarette use is rampant, and as kids return to school in person—many for the first time in 18 months—the problem could become even more serious. Through their collaboration, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will develop resources for PTAs across the country to educate parents and support the elimination of flavored tobacco products, which surveys show are widely used by youth.

“Since our founding, PTA has been the conscience of the country when it comes to issues that affect children and youth. Our mission is to improve the education, health, safety and well-being of children and help them reach their fullest potential,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “This mission and our collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is more important than ever to protect our nation’s youth.”

As part of the effort and with support from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, National PTA will provide $10,000 in grant funding to local PTAs. Local PTAs will use the funding to host events for families in their school communities to help them learn about e-cigarette use among youth and what they can do to prevent their children from using e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will also provide local PTAs with resources and advocacy tools to lead anti-tobacco efforts within their communities. Further, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will survey parents and families to collect perspectives on parent, school and community impacts and experiences with tobacco use, with a focus on vaping and flavored tobacco.

“We are thrilled to partner with National PTA to provide resources needed to educate parents and teachers about the dangers and prevalence of youth tobacco use, with a particular focus on e-cigarettes,” said Portia Reddick White, vice president of strategic partnerships at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  “We also look forward to working with parents and teachers to advocate for the policies needed to protect kids’ health, including the elimination of flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. As National PTA is such a trusted resource for parents, this is a unique opportunity to broaden the coalition of advocates needed to address the continuing threats to our kids from tobacco use.”

National PTA adopted a resolution on Electronic Cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Individuals Under 21 in 2016. National PTA and PTAs nationwide have been advocating in support of legislation, regulation and/or other national, state and local measures to address the manufacturing of and ingredients in e-cigarettes and other ENDS; to prohibit the advertising, marketing and sale of e-cigarettes and other ENDS to individuals under the age of 21; and to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and other ENDS in public places and on school grounds. National PTA’s collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids builds on the association’s commitment to educating individuals under the age of 21, parents, school boards and local officials on the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

“National PTA and PTAs nationwide work hard every day to solve problems facing our children, families and schools; bring knowledge, tools and resources into the everyday lives of families; raise our voices at the national, state and local levels; and make sure students are safe, healthy and have what they need to thrive,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Addressing and protecting our nation’s youth from e-cigarette use is an important part of this work.”

 


National PTA Stands with Haitians and Haitian Americans Impacted by Earthquake

National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement regarding the earthquake that struck Haiti:

“National PTA is deeply concerned for those affected by the earthquake that struck Haiti over the weekend. Our thoughts, prayers and hearts go out to everyone impacted in Haiti as well their relatives in the United States. We are devastated to learn of the extensive destruction to schools, just weeks before they are due to reopen. This is already a challenging time for Haiti as the Caribbean nation is suffering from mounting crises.

“Two of our association’s founding principles are to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth and to advocate for children and families who are most vulnerable. PTA offers resources to help families and educators have conversations with children to help them deal with emotions of fear, confusion, sadness and anger they may feel after incidents like the earthquake. These resources and other tips can be accessed at PTA.org.”


Save the Date for a Special Back to Class Virtual Town Hall

We are pleased to share with you that National PTA will be hosting a special “Back to Class” virtual town hall Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. EDT in partnership with the CDC, moderated by NBC News correspondent and mom Kate Snow, and featuring CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky and U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona.

The town hall will be streamed live on National PTA’s Facebook page and can be watched immediately following as a recording on Facebook for those who are unable to join live.

Our hour-long agenda includes a conversation with CDC Director Walensky and Secretary Cardona about the new safety guidance for our students and schools, as well as features American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lee Ann Savio Beers, American Psychological Association Chief Executive Director Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr. and other experts in family engagement, family-school partnerships, mental health and social emotional well-being.

National PTA has been conducting listening sessions and a national survey with parents across the country to better understand what is on their minds and how they are feeling with the start of the new school year. During the town hall, our amazing group of experts will address parents’ questions and concerns on:

  • How can parents partner with teachers to address missed instruction this past year?
  • What can parents do to support their child’s social emotional well-being?
  • How do I help keep my child safe and in school this year?

We hope you will save the date and join us for the town hall. We also hope you will share this with PTA leaders, members and families in your states and encourage them to tune in too. Please find attached a document with sample messaging and graphics that can be used to share information on the town hall with your audiences.

Thank you so much for your support and for helping us raise awareness of this important event!