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Utah schools call for more mental health resources following Texas shooting tragedy

boy in green shirt writing on white paper.

Following Tuesday’s tragic mass shooting of a Texas elementary school, Utah educators are advocating for a change in resources for mental health.

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas marked the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade with 19 children and two adults confirmed dead. The tragedy devastated people across the entire country, Utah educators included, who have been advocating for a bill that would bring more resources for mental health and suicide prevention to students.

Heidi Matthews, president of the Utah Education Association, says that it’s not normal for parents to lose children when they’re so young and it isn’t normal for schools to be a place of violence.

Acknowledging that solutions haven’t been working for increasing safety, Matthews advocated for change alongside PTA President Stacey Mollinet, who believes that schools need more social workers, psychologists, and nurses.

According to recent data from the Center of Homeland Defense and Security, there were only 16 U.S. school shootings in 2011. In 2021, there were 249, the greatest number in recorded history.

Both the PTA and the Utah Education Association believe that by adding more resources for students, there’s potential to create a safer learning environment for children.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.