Dear AWLS Community:
Like you, with great sadness, I share my sympathy and prayers to the students, parents, staff, and community of the Uvalde School District. Once again, Americans grieve with the families who are faced with a senseless act of violence that resulted in the death of students and staff, the hospitalization of others involved in this tragedy, and the aftermath of this horrific event.
School should and must be a place where students feel completely safe and secure. After news broke of this situation last evening, plans were made to bring a heightened awareness to existing security measures and to have personnel available for students and staff that may have anxiety due to this event. Parents/guardians, if you feel your student needs to talk with someone about this event or if they may need some additional support in these last days of school, please contact your child’s school counselor. Parents/guardians who would like
resources to use in order to talk to your children about violence, information can be found on the National Association of School Psychologist website (here)
Whenever there is violence in a school setting, anxiety in students, staff, and parents may result. The District administration, staff, and Board of Education are committed to student and staff well-being. The District takes a holistic approach that includes many physical safety measures (secured entrances, visitor monitoring systems, video surveillance, etc.), emergency response plans that are practiced with students, threat assessment teams, on-going collaborative work with law enforcement, and a “See Something, Say Something”
environment. Parents, please continue to have conversations with your children and share with them the importance of “if they see something, they need to say something.” Concerns can be reported anonymously on the Safer Ohio School Tip Line at 1-844-723-3764 (1-844-SaferOH).
Frustration, anger, and sympathy are all emotions that I’ve experienced in the last 24 hours. Reports indicate that in 2022 there have been 27 school shootings. Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As a nation, we have to find ways to come together, use a learner’s mindset, and make changes that eliminate these tragic events from occurring in our schools. I, and I would encourage all of you, to reach out to our state and federal legislators and demand changes be made to eliminate these acts of violence. We must demand collaborative work to take place across political lines in collaboration with school officials on this important issue now for implementation this coming school year!
AWLS sends our thoughts and prayers to all in the Uvalde School District.
Dr. Jim Fritz