Gun violence continues to rise at a historical rate as the United States tries to recover and develop reopening procedures from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. This year's July 4th weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 4, 5, and 6), our nation experienced 21 mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined as multiple, firearm, homicide incidents, involving four or more victims at one or more locations close to one another, by The Congressional Research Service. These shootings resulted in staggering numbers, which left 16 dead and 98 wounded. The shootings occurred at shopping malls, nightclubs, large private gatherings, and protest sites. The media has ignored these tragic events with little or no reporting, and this lack of reporting can pose a danger to uninformed child care programs, children, and families.
What Does This Mean For Child Care Programs?
As we reopen our childcare centers, we must not forget about the significant changes in our society since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began:
Both gun and ammunition sales have skyrocketed since February 2020.
The FBI reports they received 9.7 million background checks resulting in almost 6 million new gun sales.
We also know domestic violence, unemployment, civil unrest, social isolation, mental health issues, and child abuse have risen dramatically. The state of Virginia is reporting a 76% increase in domestic violence cases.
This information is vital for us as we develop new coronavirus protection procedures at our child care centers that will directly affect parents and caregivers. Some may object or resist wearing masks, adhering to new drop off protocols, or even agreeing with your newly-established health safety guidelines. Now is the time to remain vigilant. Do not forget security while focusing on health safety. Child care programs need to have a plan for both. Let's be alert and be prepared to keep our kids safe from both the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and active attacks.
Child care programs should use the downtime from temporary closures to receive training on this critical topic. This training will serve as a part of your health and safety reopening plans. The Institute for Childhood Preparedness is now scheduling onsite active shooter preparedness training for childcare programs, schools, and Houses of Worship. We're moving into the next phases of the reopening of our country -- schedule onsite training today: Click Here.
Don’t be scared, be prepared!