To my Move This World Friends, Family, and Partners:
When we send our students off to their places of learning, we expect them to feel nurtured, warm, joyful, and, most of all, safe. Late yesterday afternoon every caregiver, educator and citizen in America was stunned, horrified, and scared to discover another deadly mass shooting in our schools.
I feel frozen, overwhelmed by how much work we have to do to shape this world into a better one for my children and their generation. This attack on young people in public life goes against everything we work toward and cultivate in our children. It is the antithesis to who we work to become.
If any member of our Move This World family has been personally affected by this tragedy, our hearts are with you. The wounds are open for all of us. We grieve with you.
What kinds of statistics do we need to see? How many shootings have we witnessed since Sandy Hook? How many children’s lives have been tragically cut short? How many teachers have sacrificed their own in order to protect their students? How can we allow ourselves to move on and continue to lose innocent lives?
When are we going to break the cycle of violence? When are we going to replace apathy with empathy? When are we going to take responsibility for our role in a system that continues to fail our children?
We cannot live in a country where parents fear sending their children off to school, the place where students spend more awake hours than at home. It’s time to stop talking about our problems and take action. Especially in schools, where we hope to be growing the next generation of discerning, empathetic, empowered leaders. Our elected leaders owe this to us, our educators, our children, and the future of this great country.
The grief and loss we have experienced in the last few years is virtually incomprehensible. Now we are once again dealing with the tragic consequences of inaction — whether it’s calling out hate and racism, or curbing out-of-control gun violence.
Our children are suffering through our failures. Children are not responsible for passing legislation or conducting background checks, but they still have to grieve the tremendous loss of life. They still have to deal with the trauma of tragedy, the emotions of the adults around them, the changes in their routines and daily lives, the safety measures and drills they’ll continue to practice in schools. Almost all of our children have stories about the loss of innocence they experienced during their “first” mass tragedy. These moments are far too common.
As parents, educators, community leaders, and everyday citizens, we need to meet the moment. We are failing our children.
We must acknowledge that the current state of affairs is not working. Despite our anger, sadness and frustration, we will continue to support you and our children and offer resources to create the safe society we deserve. Social and emotional skills support us throughout our entire lives. Despite the unfair burden placed upon this generation of young people, we have faith that they will be the change we wish to see. Below are some resources to support these conversations in your family or school today:
- How to Support Families in Uvalde, Texas (Austin American Statesman)
- How to Talk to Kids about School Shootings (Common Sense Education)
- Caring for Kids after a School Shooting (Child Mind Institute)
- Nine Tips for Talking with Kids about Trauma (Greater Good)
- SEL to Support Families (Move This World)
In sadness and in solidarity with all the grieving families in Uvalde, Texas and across the country, we offer our condolences and our commitment to building a more empathetic, safer society.
Together we can Move This World,