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Investing in youth to prevent adverse childhood experiences

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A concurrent resolution supporting the prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Arizona

1 Whereas, Arizonans can prevent adverse childhood experiences by making

2 it a goal to lead the nation in the health and well-being of children; and

3 Whereas, adverse childhood experiences are traumatic experiences that

4 occur during childhood, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse,

5 neglect, substance abuse, untreated mental illness, incarceration of a family

6 member, domestic violence and separation or divorce in the household; and

7 Whereas, children who experience adverse childhood experiences are two

8 and one-half times more likely to fail a grade in school, score lower on

9 standardized tests, be suspended or expelled from school, be designated to

10 special education and have poor health; and

11 Whereas, nationally, 80% of suicide attempts by youth can be attributed

12 to adverse childhood experiences; and

13 Whereas, trauma in childhood contributes to a lifetime of harms,

14 including unhealthy behaviors, disease, mental illness and early death; and

15 Whereas, 44.4% of children in Arizona have experienced two or more

16 adverse childhood experiences, as compared to 30.5% of children nationally;

17 and

18 Whereas, for the past four years, Arizona has ranked in the bottom five

19 states for the overall well-being of children; and

20 Whereas, for the past four years, Arizona has had the highest rate in

21 the nation of students in grades nine through twelve who think about and plan

22 suicide; and

23 Whereas, in 2014, 40% of eighth graders in Arizona and 29% of ninth

24 through twelfth graders in Arizona reported being bullied on school property,

25 as compared to 19.6% of ninth through twelfth graders nationally; and

26 Whereas, it has been proven that preventive strategies are the most

27 effective methods to treat, halt and reverse the costly normalization of harm

28 to children; and

29 Whereas, "The Guts to Be Good" is a primary prevention initiative

30 created by Arizona nonprofit Peer Solutions to prevent the root causes of

31 adverse childhood experiences through the adoption of the following

32 youth-led, community-driven solutions:

33 1. The guts to speak up by advocating for the health and well-being of

34 children and giving them the skills to speak up, when they perceive it to be

35 safe, if they see or hear something that is harmful.

36 2. The guts to be respectful by demonstrating and promoting empathy,

37 compassion and identity respect for others and self.

38 3. The guts to be courteous by saying please and thank you, agreeing

39 to disagree and practicing kindness and gratitude.

40 4. The guts to be honest by modeling and encouraging honesty, trust

41 and healthy relationships.

42 5. The guts to lend a hand by volunteering, helping those in need and

43 seeking immediate assistance, when safe, if someone is being harmed, harming

44 others or harming

1 Therefore

2 Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of

3 Representatives concurring:

4 1. That the Members of the Legislature declare that children of all

5 political, religious and other identities deserve to be safe and treated

6 equally with respect.

7 2. That the Members of the Legislature embrace the effectiveness of

8 primary prevention strategies to prevent adverse childhood experiences in

9 Arizona.

10 3. That the Members of the Legislature support youth-led efforts to

11 prevent adverse childhood experiences by using positive solutions such as

12 "The Guts to Be Good" initiative.

13 4. That the Members of the Legislature are committed to investing in

14 youth by creating and supporting legislation with the input and support of

15 families, schools, businesses and community organizations to develop,

16 implement, evaluate, sustain and grow strategies to prevent adverse childhood

17 experiences.

18 5. That the Members of the Legislature understand that Arizona's

19 children are tomorrow's teachers, parents, policy makers and leaders and,

20 therefore, the permanent solution to building a better Arizona.

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