Blog, In the News
JCPS Student Gun Violence: Op Ed
January 3, 2022
For many, 2021 was not the year we expected or the year we asked for. While there were glimmers of recovery from the chaos and uncertainty brought in during 2020, children in our community remained at risk of trauma, abuse, neglect and violence.
In December, an article by Josh Wood of the LEO Weekly revealed over 100 JCPS current or recent students had been victims of gun violence. During a year when Louisville is experiencing a record number of homicides, JCPS students have not been spared.
We have got to do better. During a time when children should be thinking about friends and schoolbooks, many are fearing for their lives. Family & Children’s Place works daily with children who are victims of or witnesses to violence and knows firsthand about the devastating impact it can have on development and on the child’s family.
Our School-Based Services program at Engelhard Elementary School recently coordinated a visit from Christopher 2X, an anti-violence activist who leads an organization called Christopher 2X Game Changers. He is quoted in the LEO article and we were so grateful for his wisdom and charity to the children in the program. This is just one way Family & Children’s Place partners with local organizations and leaders to combat the violence and crime children are being subjected to daily.
While we work hard to prevent these circumstances, we remain available during the aftermath. Child victims or witnesses to violence are often seen in our child advocacy centers and may receive ongoing treatment through our counseling services. Recovering from these experiences is not a quick or easy task and our skilled professionals are ready and willing to walk side by side with children as they work through their feelings.
We hope the day comes when our services are no longer necessary. We hope the day comes when children are safe everywhere. But until that happens, it is up to each one of us as adults to do our part. Educate the children around you on how to find healthy and safe solutions to problems. Teach children how to manage their emotions, especially any that can become overwhelming. If you know a child has been exposed to violence, get help. Contact a school counselor, teacher or organization who can help these children process what they’ve experienced. Do not let 2022 be the year you take no action. Do not let 2022 be the year we gave up on our kids.
To report suspected cases of abuse or neglect, including child victims or witnesses to violence, please call 1-800-572-6200 in Kentucky or 1-800-572-6200 in Indiana.