Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Santa Fe, Texas, High School Shooting

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

Collin Boylin,
(202) 238-3233, (860) 490-8326 (cell)

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Santa Fe, Texas, High School Shooting

May 18, 2018

The mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, the latest national tragedy caused by gun violence, is another reminder that our nation’s leaders cannot delay taking concrete action to stem the tide of gun violence plaguing American schools and society.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) extends its sympathy to the families, friends, and community of Santa Fe High School affected by the injuries and loss of life.  

Schools – from kindergarten through college – are environments intended to be safe havens to support and nurture students' substantive, social, and civic learning. Instead, they have become locations vulnerable to violence.

In March, AERA joined the broader science community in calling on Congress to provide dedicated federal funding for research on gun violence. AERA also asked association members and others to show their support by signing the March for Science petition and contacting their elected representatives.

At the 2018 AERA Annual Meeting in April, AERA held a town hall meeting titled “Town Hall Forum on Research on Gun Violence and Implications for Schools and Communities” to emphasize the vital importance of credible, scientific research to help understand what works to reduce violence and prevent gun violence. Presenters addressed the failures of zero tolerance policies and the need for school prevention programs that focus on social-emotional health and enable student empowerment and engagement.

It is far too frequent that AERA needs to issue statements, express our sympathy, and urge essential research and evidence-based policies and programs. AERA has done so related to the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; at Sandy Hook Elementary School; in Charleston, S.C.; at Umpqua Community College; and in Orlando, as well the Justice Department’s recent cancellation of initiatives to fund school safety studies.

Until the risk of gun violence in communities, schools, workplaces, settings of worship, and other public spaces has been stemmed, we will continue to call on our leaders in Washington, D.C., to support investments that help school and policy leaders better understand the root causes of school violence, develop strategies for increasing school safety, and rigorously evaluate innovative efforts.

About AERA
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 FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

# # #