ATN Joins the National PTA’s Legislative Conference (LegCon)

The Attachment & Trauma Network was invited to join the National PTA’s Legislative Conference (LegCon) to help educate and support the conference’s delegate on the plank in their platform to “promote youth mental health, address childhood trauma and assist families struggling with addiction.

Julie Beem, ATN’s Executive Director along with Board Vice President, Kimberly Smathers and Board Member Bill Zee attended and presented on trauma-informed schools as well as traveling with their various state delegations the next day to visit numerous Representatives and Senators. 

The National PTA’s overall policy ask had 5 planks (areas) to it:

  1. PTA urges Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act (S. 3393/HR 4531) with key components of the RISE from Trauma Act – specifically addressing youth substance use and trauma-informed schools.
  2. PTA urges Congress to pass a digital safety package: Children and Teens’ Online Protection Act – COPPA 2.0 (S.1418)
  3. PTA urges Congress to protect children and youth from gun violence, with specific interest in the GOSAFE act (S. 3369) and the assault weapons ban (S. 25, HR 698)
  4. PTA urges Congress to strengthen Family Engagement in the Future ESEA Reauthorization, including a larger percentage of funding for family engagement programs through Title 1, statewide family engagement centers and passing the Bill of Rights for Students & Parents (HR 219)
  5. PTA urges Congress to fully fund essential programs supporting children, families & schools including Title I, Title IIA, Title III, Title IV and IDEA.


ATN was honored to be chosen to help the delegates learn more about the prevalence and impact of early childhood trauma on learning and what trauma-informed schools look like.  A highlight of the week was a special visit from Dr. Jill Biden.  It was also heartening to hear what schools are doing across the country to address mental health needs for students and staff alike and to discuss with many legislators and their staff the importance of this work.

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