Mississippi teachers call for action after Uvalde, TX school shooting

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 8:13 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Teachers here in the Magnolia State are upset that more innocent lives were taken on school grounds, and they’re calling for immediate action here in Mississippi so your child isn’t the next victim.

”It can’t just be our thoughts and prayers, it has to be there has to be some type of action,” teacher and President of the Jackson Association of Educators, George Stewart, said.

19 innocent students and two teachers in Uvalde, TX lost their lives Tuesday to an 18-year-old with a firearm. The news struck a chord for many educators in Mississippi.

“I just couldn’t fathom if it was my own children, or the kids that I’ve educated in the past and present,” 19-year educator, Roshunda Black-Mitchell, said.

Two days later, teachers in the Magnolia State are calling for actions to be taken and for those students’ and teachers’ death to not go unanswered -- starting with what local schools do to prepare.

“There could be improved presence in regards to law enforcement on around the perimeter, maybe increased baby in the amount of drills that we that we have,” Stewart said.

Currently, state legislation requires school districts to do active shooter drills within the first 60 days of each semester. But teachers feel like more training couldn’t hurt.

Along with the legislation, teachers are asking state leaders to have a tough conversation about gun laws.

“We just ask for some bold policy, somebody to stand up, someone to be bold enough to get behind this and set some type of policy in motion,” Stewart said.

But what many teachers said they don’t want is to be armed themselves. They said it’s a responsibility they don’t want to take on.

“We often talk about educators being counselor, mentor, mom, dad, so then you want to add law enforcement personnel, you know, to our plate, so, absolutely not,” Stewart said.

Teachers said at the end of the day, something must be done either by schools or by state leaders to curve the number of school shootings.

“We think it doesn’t or can’t happen to us, but it can happen to us. And although this intense Texas, it has happened to us,” Black-Mitchell said.

Teachers added that with school shootings happening more frequently, educators are having to educate their children while constantly worrying about safety.

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