The deaths of George Floyd and countless other African Americans across our nation have brought the social and racial injustices that have affected Black communities to the forefront of the news and social media.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has identified the advancement of social justice as an ethical obligation of school psychologists. School psychologists have a powerful opportunity to address these issues, both by serving individual students and by supporting schools to implement best practices that break down systematic barriers for our students, their families, and their communities.
Social Justice Tips for School Psychologists
Here’s how school psychologists can actively address issues of social and racial injustices in our schools:
1) Learn about and discuss the impacts of historical and systematic racism with students and other school personnel.
a) Gain a better understanding of your students, the community you serve, and the issues they face
b) Gain a better understanding of yourself, your beliefs, biases, privileges, and responses
2) Advocate against policies that have added to racial disparities within school systems.
a) End Zero Tolerance Practices and implement Restorative Practices
3) Implement explicit lessons about race, trauma, and conflict resolution, and share these lessons with teachers.
4) Help your school build community partnerships that provide resources to families in need
a) Establish a connection to outside mental health services
b) Donate and partner with organizations that combat racism and inequality
Thank you for your continued support and dedication. We appreciate your ongoing commitment to ensuring that all students attend schools and live in communities that are safe, stimulating, and supportive!