Collin County Moms is not a political website, but we do believe there are times when ALL parents can rise up and work together. The article below includes one mom’s opinions, but we hope the resources and tips can be beneficial no matter your beliefs on the situation.
I watched the news in horror on Tuesday along with the rest of the country. While we all spent a few days grieving, now is the time to take action.
Five Action Steps You Can Take After the Uvalde Tragedy
If this is too triggering or difficult for you, skip straight to step number 5. Do small kind things until the dark doesn’t seem too heavy to light a candle in.
1) Take a few minutes to read about the victims.
Not only is it a way to honor the victims, their lives, and the loved ones they leave behind, but stories also stick with us and move us to act. Like how Andre Mackniel was picking up a cake for his son’s birthday party at the Buffalo market when he was murdered. Or how Irma Garcia, a beloved veteran teacher, was murdered protecting her students. And how her husband Joe Garcia died two days later of a heart attack. Their four children are now suddenly and tragically without parents after the Uvalde tragedy.
Sources where you can learn more about the victims of the Uvalde tragedy specifically:
- L.A. Times: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-25/victims-of-uvalde-texas-school-shooting
- ABC News: https://abcnews.go.com/US/victims-texas-school-shooting-uvalde/story?id=84948395
2) Talk to your kids about it.
“Why would I want to talk to my kids about this? I want to shield them.” I absolutely understand that instinct. But if your kids have access to any form of social media, if they’ll be in groups with other kids this week, if they’ve heard you talk about it in the background, they will hear about it. And hearing about or seeing something scary and not being able to talk about it with a trusted adult makes it far scarier. Same goes for seeing adults who aren’t able to manage their own emotions about it.
This is hard. It’s painful to talk about. But it can be done in an age-appropriate way. I’m going to list resources below that hopefully will help you with your specific situation:
- Human Hope Podcast Episode 60: “Why & How to Talk About Mass Shootings & Other Tragic Events With Our Kids (With Guest Sissy Goff)”
- Dr. Becky Kennedy’s Instagram (where she discusses helping our kids with hard things and feelings)
- A Mighty Girl’s “When You Worry Too Much: 25 Books to Help Kids Overcome Anxiety, Worry, and Fear”
- Children’s Hospital New Orleans: Resources for families following the tragedy in Uvalde
- Cook’s Children’s Newsroom: Uvalde School Shooting: Cook Children’s Experts Share How Parents Can Discuss Tragedy, Support Their Children
- The National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
3) Make a phone call, send an e-mail, and send mail.
While the idea of giving senators calls used to fill me with anxiety, it doesn’t anymore. I’m not just calling for my students and babies, but others, too.
A couple of things up front about this:
- Your messages mean more if you live in the district or state of the official you’re contacting. You can absolutely contact representatives outside of where you live, just be aware of that.
- A polite and concise message will go further. The people who are registering these suggestions and complaints are staffers, some of which are unpaid. This is their job and we did not elect them to do it and they get yelled at a lot. So please be kind.
- This post from Up To Us highlights how to contact your elected officials across the board.
Contact Senator Ted Cruz:
127A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Contact Senator John Cornyn:
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Contact Governor Greg Abbott:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
4) Avoid clickbait about the perpetrator of the Uvalde tragedy in the next few days.
We do not want to give perpetrators the fame that they desire. Many say that it inspires copycats. We also want to encourage coverage of the victims and positive actionable steps to take after a tragedy.
5) Do something kind for someone else.
It’s so easy to despair and do nothing. We step out of despair not by hoping that things or hearts will change, but by doing nice things, by doing something right. Take your neighbor’s trash can back, drop off cookies, write an encouraging note, or leave a positive review because love and kindness are never wasted.
No matter where you stand on the solution to these weighty issues, I hope these steps can help your family walk through the difficulties we’ve all faced this week and provide helpful tips on actions you can take to make a difference.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Sharon McMahone:
Don’t believe the lie that nothing can change; don’t believe the lie that nothing you do will matter; don’t believe the lie that one more phone call won’t make a difference. Don’t believe the lie that we just have to get used to our children being murdered in fourth grade; don’t believe the lie that this is someone else’s problem. There are multiple pieces of pending legislation doing things like requiring background checks. But honestly, the argument isn’t about bill number X. New bills can be written.
The argument is about the principle of the matter. That we should not sit idly by while our children are murdered…Many of the big things that have changed the world were done by ordinary people…Steadfast in their hope that they could be changemakers, despite the incredible odds. And we can be, too. We don’t have to throw up our hands in despair and say and do nothing. That’s exactly the response school shooters hope you’ll have. Refuse to give them the satisfaction.