Resolution 8 — School Leader Wellness Support

WHEREAS, in the United States, 42% of principals indicated they were considering leaving their position (NASSP, EPI), and according to the Learning Policy Institute, “Nationally, the average tenure of a principal is about four years, and nearly one in five principals, approximately 18 percent, turn over annually. Often the schools that need the most capable principals, those serving students from low-income families, have even greater principal turnover”; and

WHEREAS, studies show that, “1 in 3 school principals are in serious distress and 1 in 3 principals have actually been exposed to physical violence,” thus causing a high amount of tension among administrators; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Creative Leadership found that, “Eighty-eight percent of leaders report that work is a primary source of stress in their lives and that having a leadership role increases the level of stress. More than 60 percent of surveyed leaders cite their organizations as failing to provide them with the tools they need to manage stress”; and

WHEREAS, Queen and Schumacher (Principal Magazine 2006) found that, “As many as 75 percent of principals experience stress-related symptoms that include fatigue, weakness, lack of energy, irritability, heartburn, headache, trouble sleeping, sexual dysfunction, and depression”; and

WHEREAS, Van der Merwe et. al (2011) found that, “School principals experience high levels of stress that hamper their self-efficacy and inhibit their executive control capacities”; and

WHEREAS, the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated these stressors, and added unforeseen and ever-evolving challenges, responsibilities, crises and burdens on school leaders;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators makes it our top priority to assist our membership in developing skills to combat various mental health problems that administrators face daily in their environment; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that individual locals within the American Federation of School Administrators will work with other school district unions and organizations to develop mental health protocols to assist all members of the school community; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators will work with our coalition partners to develop materials that school administrators can use in their schools to assist in remediating mental health issues in schools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators will make the mental health of our members a top priority.