The Pediatric Chaplains Network is deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific act of violence visited upon the Uvalde, TX community on May 24. As a group dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children on a daily basis, events like the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School evoke strong emotions in us all. We feel sorrow for the lives lost and families torn apart, fear that our children and communities do not feel safe, anger that we have to face another senseless tragedy, and helplessness as we wonder will something finally change.
As we respond specifically to the events in Uvalde this week, we recognize that they bring to mind those other acts of violence that have impacted each of us. This year in the United States, there have been more than 200 mass shootings (Gun Violence Archive) and 27 of them have been school shootings involving K-12 students (Education Week). The CDC reports that firearm related injury is now the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States. As healthcare professionals we understand this as a public health issue, and believe it is within our scope of calling and practice to confront it.
The Pediatric Chaplains Network maintains its commitment to advocating and inspiring pediatric chaplaincy, and enhancing the spiritual care of children and families in healthcare through research, education, and supportive collaboration among its members.
Thank you for being a part of this community and for a being a person who cares for children.