On the Tragic School Shooting in Texas
Dear WWU Community,
Yet again, we find ourselves mourning following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas yesterday. My heart breaks for the families who have lost a loved one due to this senseless act of violence, and for all of us impacted by the many tragedies coming so close together.
Too many American lives have been lost to gun violence—not just in the more than 200 mass shootings in the U.S. this year alone, but in many other forms, including suicide and domestic violence. We are all impacted. Students, parents, and other members of our community may need additional support during this time. We must stand together to end violence in our communities.
Our thoughts are also with the many students here who will be our nation’s future teachers. Teachers, staff, and school administrators work hard to create safe, nurturing, and inclusive schools. Yesterday’s shooting yet again shattered what should be a sanctuary for students. Children and students of all ages deserve safe environments for learning. The feelings of violation and vulnerability brought about by the brutal murder of students and teachers in Uvalde yesterday reverberates in every learning community. We stand with our teachers-in-training and all educators against this violence.
As conversations about the causes of violence touch issues of mental health, it is also important to remember that mental illness very rarely causes violence, and that we must avoid stigmatizing mental illness as we work to prevent more tragedies.
In the wake of a terrible event of this kind, sadness and hopelessness can feel overwhelming. Please, reach out. Talk to trusted friends and colleagues. Offer support and care to others when you can. We encourage students to contact the Counseling and Wellness Center at cwc.wwu.edu/. Staff and faculty may reach out to the Employee Assistance Program at hr.wwu.edu/employee-assistance-program. And please remember: you are not alone.
Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:
- Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events (National Institute of Mental Health)
- School Climate, Safety and Tolerance (National Association of School Psychologists)
With the long holiday weekend just around the corner, I hope you find time to connect with those you love.