Logo for the Association for Positive Behavior Support

APBS Position Statements

APBS Anti-violence Statement

April 6, 2021

The Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS) stands with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and AAPI women in particular to condemn the recent shootings of AAPI women and increased in violence throughout the past year towards the AAPI community as a whole.

As an organization, APBS is committed to equity, human rights, and social justice for historically marginalized and oppressed communities, families, practitioners, and students. Our work informs individuals, institutions, and organizations through systems development and strategies to disrupt interpersonal and structural forms of inequity, discrimination, and racism to promote equitable and meaningful outcomes for all.

Aligned with our core values standards, we condemn all acts of hate-based violence, racism, sexism, and discrimination. We continually commit to doing our part in dismantling, protecting, and lifting all marginalized communities across class, disability status, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and their intersectionality. Our part includes ensuring diversity, authentic inclusion of all, and equitable measures that promote a sense of belonging, particularly for women in the AAPI community during this time of increased violence during the COVID-19 and racial violence pandemics. Please join us in this commitment as we band together to make this world more inclusive, tolerant, and well.

Resources Related to Anti-violence

We are committed to continuing the important work of APBS in creating safe and positive communities, providing opportunities for dialogue to promote equitable outcomes for all, dismantling systemic racism, and practicing self-care. As such, we offer these resources to support conversations in your communities:

Readings For Educators and Parents

Books to read with students

APBS Statement on Racial Injustice

Dear Association for Positive Behavior Support Members,

The international Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS) condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black lives. We stand united with individuals, families, communities, and organizations across the United States and around the world demanding fundamental institutional change to end systemic racism, police violence, and inequitable treatment of people that have been historically oppressed. We fully support calls to action and protests to specifically and purposefully address racial inequities and the legacy of enslavement in our Black communities, with the ultimate goal of constructive change across our larger communities, locally and globally.

Our APBS mission statement explicitly promotes effective positive behavior support to achieve “equitable outcomes for people, families, schools, agencies, and communities.” Our core values emphasize a deliberate intention to create and support a culture that promotes the quality of life and well-being for all that is responsive to, and respectful of, each person’s human dignity and human rights.

What has this meant for APBS? In 2017, with considerable and deep reflection by the Board of Directors, and with input from our membership and our larger positive behavior support community, we established an ad hoc Equity committee that developed a definition of equity for our organization; collected data on ethnic and racial diversity, underrepresented groups, and access across our organization; and ensured diversity and equity content in our conference and webinar offerings. In March of 2020, APBS engaged in a strategic planning process that resulted in several action steps to further our mission statement and create more authentic representation of the diverse voices of our membership both here in the United States and abroad.

An important recent action that emerged from our March meetings is the addition of a dedicated Ethnic and Racial Diversity Full Board seat to further enhance our organization’s ability to achieve “equitable outcomes for people, families, schools, agencies, and communities.” This motion was unanimously approved by the Board, and this dedicated seat is included in the call for Nominations for this year’s election cycle for the Board of Directors. Candidates for this seat will be announced in the next few weeks, and we believe there is great interest amongst our membership to support this dedicated Ethnic and Racial Minority seat.

This creation of a dedicated, elected Ethnic and Racial Diversity Full Board Seat is not an isolated approach to further advancing equitable outcomes in our communities, agencies and schools. Moving forward, APBS commits to the following:

  1. All APBS Board members commit to a self-study on racial literacy and bias;
  2. All APBS Board members, elected and ex officios, as well as consultant staff serve through an equity lens; and
  3. Anti-bias and social justice content and standards will be addressed throughout all professional development, conferences, publications, and committee work with proposals evaluated for the degree to which they address equity.

These strategies will further ensure that we are meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse membership across the lifespan, and across the globe.

We understand that right now many of us are experiencing strong emotions including anger, fear, and sorrow, and we want to know how to act in a manner that leads to desired, sustainable change. Our collective voice and action through individual member and committee actions at APBS can play an important role in the process of change. We welcome your thoughts, input, and energy as APBS members through general participation and through our committee structures to further enhance our impact and bring about true change and empowerment through our collective action. We stand with the Black community and will do what we can to create a more equitable future through our core values in positive behavior support.

Resources Related to Racial Injustice

Finally, we offer a few additional resources, as we all commit to learning and growing:

APBS Statement on the United States Capitol Insurrection

January 12, 2021

The international Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS) condemns the violence and domestic terrorism that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. As an organization deeply committed to positive, equitable, and safe schools, homes, and communities, we condemn all violence and threats of violence, particularly those that threaten the important values of tolerance, freedom, justice, and inclusion.

We, and the individuals we support, may have a variety of emotions at this time, from anger, to sadness, to numbness, to fear. As we all grapple with these feelings that can feel overwhelming, we recognize the importance of providing immediate resources to support students, families, and educators across the world to help process these horrendous events.

Resources Related to the United States Capitol Insurrection

We are committed to continuing the important work of APBS in creating safe and positive communities, providing opportunities for dialogue to promote equitable outcomes for all, dismantling systemic racism, and practicing self-care. As such, we offer these resources to support conversations in your communities:

For Educators

For Family Members

Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America

The APBS Board of Directors has endorsed the Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America. Although APBS is not an advocacy group, the board understands the importance of the negative effects of gun violence in our communities, schools, families, and individuals. APBS is dedicated to implementing durable and evidence-based solutions to a range of problems in society. For more information, please visit APBS.org.

Original document with list of supporting individuals and organizations: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324280793


Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America
Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence
February 28, 2018

School shootings and widespread community gun violence are far greater in the United States than other nations. America cannot be great and realize its promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if our children are not safe from gun violence.

Although security measures are important, a focus on simply preparing for shootings is insufficient. We need a change in mindset and policy from reaction to prevention. Prevention entails more than security measures and begins long before a gunman comes to school. We need a comprehensive public health approach to gun violence that is informed by scientific evidence and free from partisan politics.

A public health approach to protecting children as well as adults from gun violence involves three levels of prevention: (1) universal approaches promoting safety and well-being for everyone; (2) practices for reducing risk and promoting protective factors for persons experiencing difficulties; and (3) interventions for individuals where violence is present or appears imminent.

On the first level we need:

  • 1. A national requirement for all schools to assess school climate and maintain physically and emotionally safe conditions and positive school environments that protect all students and adults from bullying, discrimination, harassment, and assault;
  • 2. A ban on assault-style weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips, and products that modify semi-automatic firearms to enable them to function like automatic firearms.

On the second level we need:

  • 3. Adequate staffing (such as counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers) of coordinated school and community-based mental health services for individuals with risk factors for violence, recognizing that violence is not intrinsically a product of mental illness;
  • 4. Reform of school discipline to reduce exclusionary practices and foster positive social, behavior, emotional, and academic success for students;
  • 5. Universal background checks to screen out violent offenders, persons who have been hospitalized for violence towards self or others, and persons on no-fly, terrorist watch lists.

On the third level we need:

  • 6. A national program to train and maintain school- and community-based threat assessment teams that include mental health and law enforcement partners. Threat assessment programs should include practical channels of communication for persons to report potential threats as well as interventions to resolve conflicts and assist troubled individuals;
  • 7. Removal of legal barriers to sharing safety-related information among educational, mental health, and law enforcement agencies in cases where a person has threatened violence;
  • 8. Laws establishing Gun Violence Protection Orders that allow courts to issue time-limited restraining orders requiring that firearms be recovered by law enforcement when there is evidence that an individual is planning to carry out acts against others or against themselves.

Congress and the executive branch must remove barriers to gun violence research and institute a program of scientific research on gun violence that encompasses all levels of prevention. We contend that well-executed laws can reduce gun violence while protecting all Constitutional rights.

It's time for federal and state authorities to take immediate action to enact these proposals and provide adequate resources for effective implementation. We call on law enforcement, mental health, and educational agencies to begin actions supporting these prevention efforts. We ask all parents and youth to join efforts advocating for these changes, and we urge voters to elect representatives who will take effective action to prevent gun violence in our nation.