(Eureka)—Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Davies-Hughes shared the following statement with the educators of Humboldt County this morning.
To my fellow Humboldt County educators:
As an educational community and as Americans we find ourselves lost for words and deeply saddened by yesterday’s senseless school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left nineteen young children and two teachers dead. It’s shocking and heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the parents, caregivers, and families of the victims whose lives are forever changed by unimaginable loss and unfathomable grief.
When the news first broke yesterday about this terrible tragedy, we also witnessed the predictable reigniting of the debate over gun laws in America. It is a debate that happens every time our country experiences a mass shooting, but it has not brought us any closer to a resolution. Today, instead of focusing on the politics and the concomitant rancor, as educators we can and must focus on what we do best, taking care of our students. Our primary responsibility is to provide our students with a safe learning environment, and it is a responsibility we carry out with excellence day in and day out. Two and a half years of successfully serving students in the midst of a global pandemic has proven that we can do hard things.
Today is a hard day for us all, and as you peer at the American flag flying at half-staff outside your school’s entrance, I encourage you to not only be reflective about the heartbreak at Robb Elementary but also resolute about your commitment to the well-being of every child that crosses the threshold of your school building. Today, we share in the grief of our country while we stand united in our belief that as administrators, teachers, classified and support staff, our work matters, and the impact of our work will make for a better tomorrow.
Below, are some resources you may find helpful:
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting(The National Child Traumatic Stress Network – English/Spanish)
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers(National Association of School Psychologists)
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News(Child Mind Institute)
- Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting(American Counseling Association)
- Trauma and Disaster Mental Health(American Counseling Association)
- Teaching in the Wake of Violence(Facing History and Ourselves)
- Supporting Employees in Coping with Community Violence(Employee Assistance for Education –EASE)