Idaho reactions to Tuesday’s horrific events in Uvalde, Texas — a mass shooting at an elementary school that left 19 children and two adults dead:

Gov. Brad Little: “Our country is grieving the victims of today’s horrific school shooting in Texas. As a grandpa of school aged children, this news is heartbreaking. The families and all those affected will be strengthened by our prayers as they cope with this awful tragedy.”

Shiva Rajbhandari, Boise High School student: “Boise High stands in solidarity with the families in Uvalde. This could have been any of us. Enough is enough. We deserve to feel safe in school. We deserve common sense gun regulations to prevent this senseless violence. We demand an end to the gun lobby. We demand our elected leaders act now.”

Debbie Critchfield, Republican state superintendent’s nominee: “My heart hurts and we are all weeping with the people of Texas.

“Our students, parents and teachers shouldn’t have to worry about going to school in fear of violence. The horrific events in Texas cannot just be reminder, but must serve as a call to action.

“We must have a strategic plan to address the mental health crisis in Idaho and in our nation. There’s only one goal: No more school shootings.”

Terry Gilbert, Democratic state superintendent’s nominee: “My heart hurts for the parents who are grieving the loss of their precious children. These tragic mass shootings are occurring with ever greater frequency. Our children deserve to learn and thrive in safe schools and educators deserve a safe workplace. We can and we must do more to prevent deaths from gun violence.”

Sherri Ybarra, state superintendent: “Tuesday’s horrific school shooting was 1,600 miles away, but the impact is immediate and personal for us in Idaho and throughout the nation. The senseless loss of 21 lives and violation of a space for community safety and learning is a shock to the system for educators and families everywhere, and it must energize and inform our school safety and mental health efforts going forward. I am heartbroken and send prayers to the families and community of Uvalde, and I urge all Idaho districts and charter schools to review their emergency management plans.

“One year ago, this terror visited an Idaho small town with a shooting at Rigby Middle School. We are still so relieved that no lives were lost in Rigby, but it forever shattered the belief that ‘it can’t happen here’. And we must commit ourselves, in every community and school in Idaho, to guard students’ physical and social safety, and be responsive to their mental and emotional needs – and not just after tragedy strikes.”

Idaho Education Association: “The news from Texas is devastating. Our hearts cry out for all of those who were lost to this senseless violence. 19 beautiful children, an educator dedicated to their learning, and a young man clearly in crisis. Those who must go on without them have our deepest sympathies.

“We must recognize that our schools across this entire nation, including here in Idaho, are in desperate need of mental health services for students stretched to the breaking point.”

Beth Oppenheimer, Boise School District trustee: “After two nights of congratulating hundreds of students graduating high school, I find myself in tears knowing so many kids in this country won’t get that chance. I don’t even know how to process any of this anymore.”

Check back for updates.

 

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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