Oregon PTA’s Response to Texas School Shooting
Guest Viewpoint By Kristi Dille
President, Oregon PTA
(Editors Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)
On behalf of the Oregon PTA, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the students, staff and community of Uvalde, Texas. Schools should be the safest places for our children, yet May 24 we were witness to another school shooting.
I sit at my desk this morning, watching students enter our elementary school, and I wonder what they are thinking and feeling. My thoughts are also filled with how we would be able to protect them in an active shooting incident. What was once an open-door space is now met with gates, cameras and locked entries.
It is beyond time to have real conversations regarding gun safety and mental health. How many more shootings are we going to hear about before we decide to make real changes?
As an organization, we strive to keep students safe and families involved in the decision-making process. Our advocacy work leads your child(ren) and the children of Oregon to reach their full potential. We are committed as an organization to leading the conversation to end violence now.
We need your support in advocating for our elected leaders across the nation to do more.
Here are some resources for families:
• “Talking to Children About Violence” from the National Association of School Psychologists, www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/
• “10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Violence in Your School Community” from National PTA, www.pta.org/home/family-resources/safety/School-Safety/Checklist-to-Help-Prevent-Violence-in-Schools
For far too long, children have been taken from us because of unexplainable and senseless violence. Every time, we witness in horror as firearms are again used to cause catastrophic devastation, loss and trauma to our families and our communities. No parent should lose a child to gun violence and no parent should fear for the safety of their child once they leave home.
The time is long overdue for Congress to adopt measures that ensure our children are protected from harm and support schools in their efforts to create safe and welcoming spaces for every child. It’s time we come together and immediately enact real solutions to save lives and make our schools and communities safer.
Contact your Members of Congress today to insist they work across the aisle to pass sensible gun safety and violence prevention policies that ensure our children are protected from harm. We are well beyond “enough is enough” and it is past time to take action to protect the lives of our children and families.
Learn more at our “advocacy” and “take action” pages, www.pta.org/home/advocacy/take-action.