Asheville City Schools
Excellence with Equity
- Asheville City Schools
In Response To The Tragedy In Uvalde, Texas
Good Morning Students, Staff and Families. This is Superintendent Gene Freeman.
Yesterday, I watched the news unfold about the heartbreaking mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. It was the second mass shooting in less than two weeks. As I read the headlines and processed the information, I felt a lot of things; grief, loss, disbelief, deep sadness and anger. I can’t imagine dropping my child off for school and never picking them up or walking into a school building for work and never coming home.
Events like yesterday are not only tragic and painful but create an environment of uncertainty and fear within our schools and community. While this event was more than 1,000 miles away from our community, the media coverage brought it into our homes and lives.
We understand that our students and staff may need added assistance during this time. Please know that we have support services in place and our school counselors will be available for students and staff who need to process their thoughts and feelings following yesterday’s tragedy.
In addition to offering mental health resources in each of our schools and the Employee Assistance Network for staff, we’ve also gathered some resources that might be helpful during this time:
- National Association of School Psychologists Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- American Psychological Association: Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
- Common Sense Media: Take An Age-Based Approach to Discussing News of School Shootings with Kids
- Parent guides with specific reactions, responses and examples of things to do and say following a disaster:
As your superintendent, it is my responsibility to ensure safe, supportive, and high-quality educational experiences for our students. As a human, it is my responsibility to care for others. I will continue to do everything within my power to ensure our schools are safe and welcoming places to learn and grow.
Parents, I ask that you please take this opportunity to talk with your child about school safety as well as remind them to report any rumors about an unsafe situation or behavior to a trusted adult. Students can also utilize the See Something, Say Something app or click here to access See Something, Say Something on our website. All information shared to the app or posted through the website is completely confidential. And, of course, all students and parents can always directly reach out to any school administrator.
Thank you for your support. Over the next few days, we will continue to keep a close watch on our students, staff and families. However, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do.
From April Dockery, Executive Director of Crisis Management and Operations
We have a plan if an incident were to happen in one of our schools. We immediately notify emergency personnel. We then follow our safety protocols and work with school administration to make sure the scene is secure.