Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 1, 2021)—National PTA President Anna King and North Carolina PTA President Francelia Burwell issued the following statement on the shooting at Mt. Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, N.C.:
“National PTA, North Carolina PTA and all PTA members nationwide are dismayed to hear of the shooting that occurred today at Mt. Tabor High School. This was the second shooting at a high school in North Carolina this week.
“As students across the country are returning to school in person—many for the first time in 18 months—parents should not have to fear for the safety of their children due to senseless gun violence. As we’ve said too many times—more must be done immediately to protect our nation’s children and families. We cannot wait any longer.
“For years, PTA members have advocated for sensible gun safety and violence prevention policies that will make our schools and communities safer for everyone and save lives. We’ve called for research to be funded on the causes and effects of gun violence on youth and communities, as well as evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence. We’ve also called for education programs to be established to teach students, parents and community members about gun safety and violence prevention.
“At the same time, we’ve continuously advocated for improved mental health programs and services for children and families, including the prioritization of mental health education, early intervention, prevention and access to school and community-based mental health personnel and services. And this continues to be more important than ever as mental health and social and emotional well-being are among the most pressing issues to address as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We call on Congress to urgently address the epidemic of gun violence as it is destroying our communities.
“It has been and remains a top priority of PTA to prevent and eliminate gun violence in schools, communities and at home; promote the safety and well-being of all children; and ensure every child has every opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association has developed resources for parents to make sure schools are safe and supportive places for their children, as well as tips on how to talk to their children about violence. We also launched a webpage at PTA.org/MentalHealth with resources to help families learn about mental health and some of the most pressing issues and approaches, along with tools to help families cope. We encourage everyone to get involved in our efforts to protect every child.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.