May 25, 2022
Statement on Uvalde, TX School Shooting + SMC Safety Resources
Dear SMC Colleagues,
While I typically begin these regular updates with a positive greeting, today dawned with the realization that in Uvalde, Texas there are parents—families—who will never see the faces of their loved ones, 19 of them beautiful, innocent children, and two adults. Our hearts go out to the staff and families of Robb Elementary School as they deal with the magnitude and grief of this tragedy. This horrific incident came just 10 days after a shooting in another public place—at a Buffalo, NY supermarket, an act of hate-fueled domestic terrorism. The epidemic of senseless gun violence in the U.S. is not news, but—horrifyingly—is a reality that keeps repeating itself.
The Santa Monica College community knows first-hand the impact of such senseless violence, the pain and trauma attendant in the wake of such horror, having family members and friends ripped away. My heart goes out to all who have lost their loved ones to gun violence—including within our own community. To echo U.S. President Joe Biden, “Why do we keep letting this happen? . . . It’s time to turn this pain into action . . . We have to do more.” This kind of carnage has no place in a civilized and just society.
Given these tragic circumstances, below please find some important safety resources, with the relevant links. Please know, too, that the Santa Monica College Police Department is increasing vigilance, with a heightened focus on keeping our SMC community safe. Please share the following resources with your students.
Review SMC Safety Measures & Resources:
- Active Shooter Training
- Personal Safety Measures & Tips
- Download the SMC Livesafe App (The app provides a quick, convenient, and discreet way to communicate directly with Santa Monica College safety officials, enhancing your overall safety and allowing Santa Monica College Police to better protect you)
Resources that may be helpful to you and your family (specifically, children):
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Parent Guidelines for helping youth after a shooting
- Common Sense Media: How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime and War
SMC Wellness Resources for Students & Employees:
- For students, the Center for Wellness and Wellbeing provides a range of wellness and psychological services. For 24/7 emotional support, students can call 1-800-691-6003.
- SMC faculty and staff may reach out to the Employee Assistance Service for Education for free, confidential mental health support and counseling. Also view: contact EASE on SMC HR’s website.
“It takes a monster to kill children,” poet and activist Amanda Gorman wrote in a tweet yesterday. “But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.”
In these fragile times, the knowledge of what we do here together—changing lives by providing an equitable, accessible education—continues to provide solace and purpose.
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.