Dear JA Family,

I am writing to acknowledge the heartbreaking and incomprehensible act of violence that occurred in Texas yesterday. Coming nearly a decade since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, and just over a week after the racially motivated vicious shooting in Buffalo, unfathomably yesterday marked the 27th school shooting in this year alone.

As members of the education community, given our work in schools throughout Southern California (many just like Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas), we are shocked, angry, and dispirited, as we grieve for the students, parents, and school staff faced with such an unimaginable situation. I know that all of us agree that our schools should be one of the safest places for our students, educators, volunteers, and staff, and not a place where gunshots devastate the lives of so many people. We can’t educate our students without them being safe and our children deserve better. 

Our organization’s mission necessitates that we help youth see a brighter future, one that keeps them safe, whether they’re shopping with their family in a grocery store or sitting in their classrooms looking forward to the end of the school year and what should have been a summer filled with joy with their families. The youth of our society are looking to educators, parents, politicians, business leaders, and community-serving organizations, to exercise our social and moral obligation to prevent this from happening again.

Our hearts and prayers go out to families affected by this senseless tragedy, and to the Robb Elementary School community but we know that is not enough – we stand in full support with all our partners and the communities we serve in addressing the alarming rate of violence as a top priority.

Les McCabe
President & CEO, JASoCal

  • TheDisaster Distress Helplineis a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling (more info at National Institute of Mental Health):dial1-800-985-5990or text TalkWithUsto66746to connect with a trained crisis counselor