Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s Statement on Tragic Death of Seattle High School Student

Media Contact

Katy Payne she/her

My heart is broken for the senseless death of a high school student in Seattle yesterday, and I am praying for the victim’s family, friends, and the entire Seattle Public Schools community. Seattle Public Schools is its own family; now and always they need support and embrace from the community to deliver much needed care for students and staff––especially in tragedy.

Every Washington student has the right to feel safe and supported in their place of learning.

In the face of a tragedy like this one, we absolutely must look ourselves in the mirror as a society. Easy access to guns is a public health crisis! Our young people should not have this kind of access to firearms. As parents, as educators, and as engaged community members, it will take work from every single one of us to ensure that young people do not have access to deadly firearms.

While every single school in Washington state is required to have a comprehensive school safety plan and a threat assessment protocol, schools alone cannot stop gun violence.

My office will continue to partner with lawmakers to fund additional staffing in our schools to support students’ physical, social, and emotional health. We will also continue to press for sustained and expanded funding for mental health coordinators and prevention/intervention specialists. For our families, I am pleading with you that if you have firearms in your home, lock them up safely! (For resources and support on safe storage, see OSPI’s Safety at Home fact sheet in English and Spanish.

As a community, we must decide that we cannot allow for senseless deaths from firearms to continue. I am urging us all to do our part.