We continue, alongside our community, to process the latest horrific act of violence against school children and teachers in Uvalde.
“While school shootings remain rare, there were more in 2021 — 42 — than in any year since at least 1999. So far in 2022, there have been at least 24 acts of gun violence on K-12 campuses during the school day.”– Washington Post School Shootings Database
This awful trend has happened in spite of the “hardening” of campuses to include restricted entry, active shooter drills, and daily police presence – practices which we as parents and educators see negatively impacting our children’s mental health and love of learning. And it has happened in spite of increased awareness of, and investments in, student mental health and family engagement.
Yet our political leaders continue to look everywhere but the most obvious place for life-saving reforms.
It is overwhelming to think about. And the difficult truth is that there is not one easy answer. No single action we can recommend to our school board will keep our kids in Round Rock ISD safe from gun violence when American culture is steeped in violence and inequity. Many steps must be taken, by many people, at many levels, in order for this awful trend to shift. This problem is so much larger than making sure the back door is locked or another SRO or counselor is hired.
What we do know is that communities like ours must clearly reject – with our words, our actions, and our votes – the individuals and systemic forces that make violence more acceptable and more possible. And as we do so, we must continue to care deeply for ourselves and for each other.
We are heartbroken for the families of Uvalde. All of them. As our school board meets this week, and National Gun Violence Awareness Day comes and goes, we are taking some time to cherish our loved ones, to check in with our neighbors, and to take individual actions that feel most impactful in this moment.
Very soon Access Education RRISD will be back to work within our community, advocating and organizing to make Round Rock ISD schools the safe, joyful and engaging places of learning that we envision; and that every student deserves. We hope you will join us in this work when, and how, you are able.