Gun Violence Prevention Letter
September 21, 2023
Dear Fairfax County Public Schools Parents/Guardians and Staff,
Keeping our students and staff safe in schools is a team effort. We must all work together to support and educate our children.
In FCPS, we have built lessons on gun safety into our curriculum. In early grades, students learn what to do if they find a gun (leave it alone, leave the area, and let an adult know). In upper grades, students learn the consequences of gun violence, personal responsibility for gun safety in the community, and alternatives to violence to resolve conflicts. I ask that parents and guardians reinforce this message at home by talking to your children about gun safety as well.
Gun violence continues to impact communities across our nation. According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, there have already been more than 470 mass shootings across the United States this calendar year. The organization defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed, including in homes and in public places.
An estimated 524-018-0261-7">4.6 million children in the U.S. live in households with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. A recent study found that about one in three gun owners store their weapons loaded and unlocked. Virginia law requires gun owners to store firearms where a child is unlikely to gain access. Fairfax County offers free locks for medications and firearms.
Research shows that secure firearm storage is associated with up to an 85% reduction in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens.
Thank you for your partnership in keeping our schools safe places for our children to learn and grow.
Dr. Michelle Reid
Fairfax County Public Schools