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Great new guide to help schools and communities respond to the Newtown tragedy

How should schools and communities respond to the Newtown tragedy? A great new resource has just been released to help communities engage in discussion and action on school safety and other issues raised by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. We encourage NCDD members to print out copies of this NSPRA guide by Matt Leighninger, and take it to your local school district along with an offer to help facilitate the dialogues described in this guide.

Here’s the announcement from Matt…

NSPRA-logoThe Deliberative Democracy Consortium — an NCDD organizational member led by Matt Leighninger — has just produced, in partnership with the National School Public Relations Association, a guide for discussion and action on school safety and other issues raised by the events in Newtown. (DDC executive director Matt Leighninger serves on the board of NSPRA.)

A number of other deliberation practitioners (all NCDD members) contributed to this guide, including: Will Friedman of Public Agenda, John Dedrick and Brad Rourke of the Kettering Foundation, Martha McCoy, Pat Scully, and Molly Barrett of Everyday Democracy, and Martin Carcasson of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University. The guide can be downloaded free of charge on the DDC resources page. It is an NSPRA publication, so organizations wishing to reprint the guide should insert this language:

Reprinted with permission from the copyrighted article (Insert name of article and newsletter/publication/product), published by the National School Public Relations Association, 15948 Derwood Rd., Rockville, MD 20855; www.nspra.org; (301) 519-0496. No other reprints allowed without written permission from NSPRA.

From the intro…

As we all struggle after the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings, NSPRA leaders have stood up to offer an engagement process to help set future directions on local school safety. This issue clearly falls into the “schools cannot do it alone” category where schools and communities must work as one in securing our schools and children as best we all can.

This guide gives you organizing suggestions and discussion materials to hold a productive school-community forum in which large, diverse numbers of people take part in small-group discussion, deliberation, and action planning. The key word is suggestions. You know your community best and where this type of an engagement process can work for your school community. Even if your community is a not a fit for this process, you may still be able to use a number of items in this NSPRA resource.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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