2020 was a year of unprecedented turmoil and civil unrest. There were at least 32 major riots and countless other smaller protests throughout the country during the last seven months of 2020. These incidents left 25 dead, thousands injured, hundreds of businesses destroyed, and property damage in the billions of dollars.
Sadly, the trend has continued into the first few weeks of 2021, with violent events in cities that include Washington D.C., Seattle, Portland, and Denver. We have seen over 25,000 National Guard troops deployed to Washington D.C., and businesses boarding up or temporarily closing in many cities.
Gun Violence Increased In 2020
What also lingers over from 2020 is the historic number of legal gun sales and the dramatic rise in burglaries to gun stores, putting thousands of illegal guns on the street. While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed or eliminated many activities from our daily lives, gun violence and mass shootings have continued at a record pace.
The first three weeks of 2021 have the following grim numbers:
There have been 26 mass shootings (categorized as four or more people shot).
Fifteen children (ages 0-11) have been killed and 29 more injured due to gun violence.
The media has rarely given any coverage to any of these tragic events.
Frustrations continue to mount as the country deals with lockdowns, unemployment, remote learning, and structure loss in our daily lives.
Millions continue to be out of work, and thousands of restaurants and small businesses remain closed.
Financial stress is real, and most experts believe emotional illness is the root cause of most school and business shootings.
How Civil Unrest Negatively Impacts Early Childhood Programs and Schools
Experts fear that these shooting numbers may get even higher as we all prepare to reopen schools and return to work at offices and businesses. Studies have shown that 41% of school shootings occur within a week after students return from a break.
How can we prepare ourselves and keep the children in our care safe during this challenging period?
We must not only focus on COVID-19 protocols at our early childhood centers and schools, but we must also prepare for other emergencies such as active shooter events. Our distinguished training programs provide tools and expertise to your staff to help them be more prepared. Our training also includes crisis communication and de-escalation techniques designed for those working in early childcare.
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness is happy to announce that we have now returned to conducting in-person training, following the safety protocols recommended by the CDC and state and local governments. Resolve to be more prepared in 2021! Take our preparedness challenge to be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card. Find out more today: https://www.childhoodpreparedness.org/2021.
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