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Statement on the Shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. Three nine-year old children who went to school on a sunny day and died from gunshots fired by a 28 year-old shooter who entered the school building armed with multiple assault weapons. Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, Mike Hill were the three adults also killed in this latest, horrific episode of gun violence in America.

The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee now adds to the overwhelming tally of mass shootings in the U.S. which number 130 so far this year according to the Gun Violence Archive. It is far past time that Congress enact legislation to ban the assault weapons that serve as tools for pervasive killings.

Erikson Institute is devoted to the healthy development of young children and the adults who nurture them. While we hold the Covenant School community in our hearts, we also commit to raising our voices and our votes, to demand stronger laws controlling guns.

Police have reported that the shooter at The Covenant School was a former student. This is yet another testament to why it is critical to invest in the mental health and well-being of all children.

For information about how to talk to young children about gun violence, this article offers some ideas. If you know someone in need of mental health support, SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish.

Every child deserves to feel safe at school. Our hearts ache for the children, faculty and families in the Covenant School community. - Erikson Institute

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