ACSA urges action after shooting
May 30, 2022
ACSA leaders are calling for action to reduce gun violence following a May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
According to initial reports, an 18-year-old man entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a AR-15 rifle, killing 19 students and two teachers.
It is the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and the 27th school shooting this year, according to data from Education Week.
Incoming ACSA President Erin Simon and incoming Executive Director Edgar Zazueta issued a statement expressing solidarity with fellow educators in Texas and those around the country who are helping students process this tragedy.
“Tuesday’s school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, is a disaster of the highest order,” the statement reads. “We stand with our fellow educators and colleagues in Texas, California and across the country who are being forced to navigate responses to the shooting and so many similar tragedies,” the statement reads.
The statement also acknowledges the inaction that continues to threaten students’ lives.
“The reality is that our federal lawmakers should have addressed school violence many years ago,” the statement says. “We are disappointed and frustrated that our country hasn’t done anything to protect our children and prevent these crises. This isn’t about politics. This is about saving lives.”
ACSA expressed its commitment to working toward a solution and its dedication to serving the “complex needs of our districts during this time.”
The day after the massacre, ACSA’s Legislative Lunch Break discussed the tragedy. Zazueta acknowledged the difficulties educators have in talking to students and staff about yet another school shooting.
“It’s our folks, it’s our members, it’s their teams that had to walk into school today knowing full well that some of their kids may have seen this,” Zazueta said. “We know this pattern: outrage, disbelief, days later ... we move on to the next thing. ... I think we’re all struggling with that — that we’ve all been down this road before.”
The guest on the show was School Psychologist Stephanie Murray from Whittier Union HSD, who shared resources and advice for talking to students about gun violence.
“Listen to them. Don’t dismiss their fears and concerns,” she said. “Find out where they’re at and what their thoughts are.”
She shared the need for schools to commit to mental health supports early and at all levels (such as in multi-tiered system of supports), which can prevent crises as well as benefit all students.
“A lot of people put it on the shelf, and say, ‘OK, maybe later. Maybe later. This isn’t going to happen at our school,’” she said. “We all need to support our students, and that’s a win-win. ... all our kids can benefit from this.”
Resources Online
Find resources for helping students cope with violence on ACSA’s Resource Hub.
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