Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 21, 2021)—National PTA President Anna King and Virginia PTA President Pamela B. Croom issued the following statement on the shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va.:
“National PTA, Virginia PTA and all PTA members nationwide are disheartened to hear of the shooting that occurred yesterday at Heritage High School in Virginia. We are just weeks into the 2021-2022 school year, and there have already been far too many shootings on school grounds. As we’ve said too many times—more must be done immediately to protect our nation’s children and families. We call on Congress to immediately address the epidemic of gun violence as it is destroying our communities.
“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 have and continue to call 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 also have and continue to call 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.
“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/HealthyMinds with resources to help families learn about, prioritize and maintain their mental health. 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.
About Virginia PTA
Virginia PTA is comprised of thousands of families, students, teachers, administrator, business and community leaders from across the Commonwealth 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 www.vapta.org.