Press Releases

March 13, 2018

Arming Teachers Provides an Illusion of Safety, Mental Health Care Offers Actual Protection, says Penn GSE Professor

March 13, 2018

Education leadership expert John D’Auria is available for comment.

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Dr. John D’Auria

“While guns may provide the illusion of safety, they cannot address the root causes of violence. Instead, let’s arm educators with the tools that will help them recognize the mental health needs of students and provide our communities with the ways to address those needs in a timely and effective manner.”

 - John D’Auria, expert in education leadership


The facts:

  • Mental illness is not rare. In a classroom of 20 children, 4 have a diagnosable mental illness. Another 2 children have problems serious enough to interfere with their home or school life.
  • Untreated anxiety and depression is a leading cause of high school dropouts.
  • 70 percent of parents say they are unable to find care for their children’s mental health needs.
  • The typical ratio of a school psychologist is somewhere between 500 and 700 students to 1.



  • D’Auria, a Professor of Practice at Penn GSE, is an expert in educational leadership. He specializes in helping school leaders take on deep-rooted problems and manage conflict in the workplace.
  • A former math teacher, counselor, and principal, D’Auria also served as president of Teachers21, a professional development organization for educators, and was the Superintendent of Schools in Canton, Massachusetts.
  • He is frequently sought as a speaker, and has been an executive coach to a wide variety of educational leaders across the country.