Gunshots don’t have to result in injury or death to take a devastating toll on our children. Just ask the students and teachers at schools like Julia de Burgos Elementary. The school had endured lockdown procedures almost weekly as of Halloween.
Principal Maritza Hernandez lamented, “I feel like we’re professional right now at a lockdown.” She added, “Our concern when we have these lockdowns, besides the children’s safety, is how do we make that up? The teachers and the staff have been amazing at making sure they pick up where they left off, but that means that the kids don’t get to go to music or art because we have to make that time up somewhere.”
“I know we’ve heard all this before. Tough neighborhoods. Tough kids. Tough attitudes. I don’t know what’s more messed up here, that children continue to grow up thinking chaos is the norm or that we as a city, as a society, continue to grow accustomed right along with them,” writes The Philadelphia Daily News‘s Helen Ubiñas.
If we really want to help our communities and our kids—all of our kids—we have to be honest about the daily impact that gun violence has on them.