This week marks one year since an unspeakable act of violence was carried out in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
One year since a gunman stole the lives of 19 fourth graders and two teachers at Robb Elementary. One year since the name “Uvalde” came to represent much more than a town, added to a list that no one wants to be on. One year since a community in southern Texas was marked forever.
There is no easy way to honor an anniversary like this one. But it feels important to remember and reflect.
So this week, we are remembering what happened in Uvalde and reflecting on what has — and has not — happened since.
As part of that process, we invited Pamela Vona and Beth Cooney from the Center for Safe and Resilient Schools to talk with us about what it’s like responding to school-based tragedies, how students and educators process these events, and what they make of the unyielding epidemic of gun violence in this country, especially now that firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens.
Vona is co-founder of the Center for Safe and Resilient Schools, an organization that helps schools develop prevention and intervention strategies as well as long-term recovery approaches following traumatic events, such as a mass shooting or a natural disaster. Cooney is a licensed social worker who provides on-the-ground training to school-based counselors and other mental health professionals.