Newswise — The American Educational Research Association (AERA) extends its condolences to the families, friends, and communities of the victims of gun violence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on November 13. This horrific incident comes almost three weeks after the deadly shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Mo., on October 24. These tragedies are the latest in the never-ending procession of deadly gun violence that afflicts U.S. institutions of education and other public spheres throughout American society. These shootings, as well as the off-campus murder of four University of Idaho students on November 13, are latest reminders that our nation’s leaders must to take immediate steps to address gun access, mental health, safety, and violence.
Unfortunately, this year alone, AERA has already had to speak out about two other shootings, in Buffalo, N.Y., and at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which took place in the span of only a few weeks. It is far too often that AERA needs to issue statements expressing our deepest condolences and urging public officials to act. Other recent statements include deadly shootings in Pittsburgh; at Santa Fe High School; at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; at Sandy Hook Elementary School; in Charleston, S.C.; at Umpqua Community College; and in Orlando.
This past May AERA called for the establishment of a federal blue-ribbon commission or high-level task force that would bring together experts from relevant scientific and professional fields, including education research, mental health, criminal justice, and others, to develop short- and long-term actionable steps.
The traumatic events over the past six months underscore the need for higher priority attention and intervention. Together we must ensure that students, whether at school, on campus, or elsewhere, are able to live and thrive academically in a safer world.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.