By Scott Blair
School shootings have risen yearly since 2010 and hit an all-time high in 2021. There were just under 250 school shootings across the US that year. Texas is second in the US behind California regarding school shootings.
Since 1970 California has had 157 school shootings where at least one person was murdered. Texas had 126 during that time. The second state is Illinois, with 84 school shootings. California and Texas are the two most populated states, respectively.
The most recent school shooting in Texas was at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24th of this year. The Texas House committee determined the law enforcement response was plagued by “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making.”
There were 19 students and two teachers killed in over an hour. The gunman alluded to his plans over social media between March and May. He turned 18 on May 16, making him eligible to purchase a gun. He bought the gun that day, along with 1,740 rounds of ammunition.
Day of the Shooting
On the day of the shooting, the gunman first shot his grandmother shortly after he told a friend via text message that he was about to “do something” to her. He then texted that same friend stating he was going to “shoot up an elementary school.” The shooter took his grandma’s truck and drove a few short blocks to the school, but he crashed the truck into a ditch near the school and subsequently fired two shots at witnesses, missing them both.
He arrived at the school at 11:28 am. Meanwhile, the grandmother survived being shot and sought out help from a neighbor. Police entered the school at 11:35 am and finally killed the gunman at 12:50 pm.
How to Cope After a School Shooting
Whether you or a loved one were involved in a school shooting, there are some steps you can take to help cope with the traumatic event. If you’re a parent or teacher, you’ll want to be mindful of certain issues that come up.
First, you don’t want to censor the kids. Instead, put the event into context. Your child or student most likely has a smartphone, and they’ll have access to the information anyway. You can monitor the news with them. Also, they may have friends or classmates who were injured and in the hospital. Allow them to get in contact with those kids. They’ll want to know if the shooter was apprehended or not as well.
Discuss the news with your child or student. This allows them to process the information and hopefully alleviate any concerns they have. You want to be there for them but provide space for your child when needed. You should also let them know how you feel about the tragedy, which will help them let out their feelings, which is healthy.
The American School Counselor Association suggests these resources and using their resources can help immensely if needed.
- Position Statement: The School Counselor and Prevention of School-Related Gun Violence
- Webinar: Effective Crisis/Trauma Response
- Webinar: Counseling Kids in Crisis
- Webinar: Infusing a Caring Climate in Your School
- Webinar: Supporting Students After Crisis and Loss
- ASCA U: Trauma and Crisis Specialist
- Magazine article: Common Crisis
- Magazine article: Armed Assailant Drills
- Magazine article: Resilience in the Aftermath
- Magazine article: Student Threat Assessment
- Magazine article: Plans, Processes and Procedures