- In the News
A little over two weeks ago, on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2018), we were all horrified to learn of another mass shooting incident at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Seventeen people - students and adults - were killed and many others injured and traumatized. Indirectly, the whole community was traumatized. The person responsible is a former student expelled from the school a year or two ago.
The loss of life and deep traumatization from such incidents represent personal tragedies of unimaginable proportions for families. There will be lasting emotional and psychological impacts on survivors and the community as a whole. It is heartbreaking.
NACRJ stands with the victims in Parkland, FL. We extend our condolences and support for all those impacted and their families. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We hope that you find some measure of comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this difficult time and place. Yet, we know that our thoughts and prayers won't prevent the next school shooter.
Based on news reports this shooting is the 18th episode since Jan. 1, 2018 - roughly 45 days. Other news reports suggest that over 240 such mass shootings have occured since the 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut where 26 people were killed, mostly elementary school students. The pattern of mass shooting incidents is not observed in other developed nations. Which raises questions - Why in the US? What can be done to prevent it? It is clear that we can and must do better.
Such incidents call on us to consider how best to support and assist those harmed in meaningful and helpful ways as they seek to move forward in their lives.
In the last week, funerals have been held and students have begun to find their voice to express their hurt and anger, as well as their frustration with politicians who have failed to address gun violence, particularly schools shootings, in effective ways. We applaud their courage and passion for policy change. We encourage and support their efforts to speak their truth and be heard as advocates for sensible policies aimed at reducing gun violence. They are the targets and victims of "school shooters". Their viewpoints are important and need to be heard and respected by policy makers, not marginalized and dismissed.
Michael Gilbert, Ph. D., Executive Director