WASHINGTON (May 25, 2022) — An 18-year-old gunman killed at least 19 children and two adults on May 24 in a mass shooting that took place at an elementary school in Texas. The gun violence represents the deadliest U.S. school shooting since the attack at Sandy Hook elementary school about ten years ago.
The George Washington University has experts that can talk about a range of public health, psychological, legal and political issues brought up by the mass shooting in Texas. To interview one of the GW experts, contact GW Media at [email protected].
Public Health Experts
Lynn Goldman, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, can talk about this recent attack, the impact on children and ways to prevent gun violence in the future.
“Guns became the leading cause of death in children and teens in 2020 and this week’s events underscore the fact that we continue to fail to protect our youth from these preventable tragedies,” Goldman said. “We must do better - by addressing the factors that lead to school shootings and implementing strong gun safety laws and school-based interventions that can work to intervene in problems before shootings happen.”
Adnan A. Hyder, is director of the center on commercial determinants of health at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. He can discuss the gun industry’s role in the rise in gun violence. He says the gun industry has deployed aggressive marketing tactics to boost sales even as violence was on the rise during the COVID-19 crisis.
“While there are likely many causes for this latest school shooting and other mass shootings, we can no longer afford to ignore the role that the US firearms industry plays in perpetuating this public health epidemic,” Hyder said. “Policymakers have a responsibility to reduce the burden of the epidemic of violence that is wreaking havoc on individuals, families and communities.”
Wendy Ellis, director of the center for community resilience at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, is an expert on how gun violence and other factors can lead to long term trauma and other health problems for children, parents and others living in affected communities.
Babak Sarani, director of trauma and acute care surgery and professor of surgery, has extensive knowledge about the clinical care gunshot wound victims need and how hospitals can be prepared for this type of trauma care.
Suzan Song, division director of child/adolescent and family psychiatry has studied the effects of trauma on families and can speak about how families can manage the stress of trauma and the anxiety students across the country may feel about going to school.
Sylvia Marotta-Walters is a professor of counseling and her expertise lies with post-traumatic stress and stress disorders. She focuses her research on complex post-traumatic stress disorders and their treatment, and on the measurement of stress and resilience.
Mary DeRaedt is an assistant professor of counseling and human development, whose work also focuses on trauma, particularly with children and adolescents. Her work includes effective treatments for children and adolescents coping with trauma, anxiety, non-suicidal self-injury, depression, and behavior disorders.
Jennifer Clayton, associate professor of educational leadership and administration, is very well connected with a network of school superintendents (and she trains superintendents and principals), so she definitely has her finger on the pulse of school and district leaders, who are making decisions that affect students, teachers, and administrative staff in schools.
Kimberly Jamison, assistant professor of educational leadership and administration. Kimberly has been a teacher and a school administrator.
Psychology and Brain Sciences
Carol Sigelman, professor of applied social psychology, is a developmental psychologist who can examine the mental and emotional impact such a traumatic event can have on children and adolescents.
“We all worry most about the parents who lost children and the siblings of those children and their painful grief and the mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder that some of them will experience as a result of this traumatic loss. But the ripple effects extend as well to these children's classmates and their parents and even to school children across America who have every reason to wonder if their school is safe. I worry too about the ever-clearer profile of the troubled adolescents who commit these acts and why more of them cannot be helped before they kill.”
Sherry Molock, associate professor of clinical psychology, specializes in the mental health of adolescents and young adults and can offer further insight on the mental and emotional trauma inflicted by the Uvalde school shooting.
Todd Belt, director of the political management program at the Graduate School of Political Management, can discuss how the Biden administration could address the gun violence epidemic and the political will (or lack thereof) to resolve America’s gun crisis.
Casey Burgat, director of the legislative Aafairs program at the Graduate School of Political Management, focuses on the role of Congress in the gun violence issue. He can run through the recent history of proposed gun control legislation and analyze Capitol Hill’s response to the Uvalde shooting.