In the words of President Biden: “To lose a child is to have a piece of your soul ripped out forever.”
On behalf of the School Board: our hearts are with the families and the entire community of Uvalde, Texas who suffered unspeakable devastation on Tuesday.
In honor of the victims and their families, I would like to ask for a moment of silence.
The care and stewardship of our children is our – and society’s – most important role. We must also protect our teachers and staff, who dedicate their lives to nurturing and educating future generations.
We have received a lot of questions from the community asking about our safety measures, and what they, too, can do to help. Every year, Arlington Public Schools invests in a wide array of safety and security measures, including secure entrances, visitor management systems, communication systems, threat assessment teams, and staffing, protocols, and procedures for school safety and management. We’ve invested in proven prevention strategies, including behavior interventions, school climate, counseling, substance abuse, and mental health.
There is more we can do, and we are committed to continuing this work. Currently, in our capital improvement process, we will continue planning the security upgrades to our building entrances and other safety enhancements.
However, even our best efforts won’t be enough when a child in our country can turn 18, walk into a store, and walk out minutes later with a weapon of war.
Violence caused by firearms must stop. School security measures are one step, but another, crucial step is better, smarter, stronger gun laws. The School Board calls upon our State and Federal leaders to step up and pass common-sense legislation that will help protect our communities from gun violence. This also includes effective, affordable, and accessible mental health supports for those in need.
This is beyond urgent. We’ve lost too many lives to gunfire. We ALL need to do better for our children, our staff, and our community.
Barbara Kanninen, Chair
Reid Goldstein, Vice Chair
Cristina Diaz-Torres, Member
Mary Kadera, Member
David Priddy, Member