SCS board members issue ‘Call to Action’ as gun violence plagues the community

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A call to action is what five Shelby County School Board members believe is needed to stop gun violence.  

They argue the problem demands more people in the community helping the police, resources in schools and better funding for grassroots organizations on the front lines in troubled neighborhoods.

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Some of the victims are young children, such as the drive-by shooting and murder of seven-year-old Kelby Shorty, an innocent victim. 

Shelby County School Board Member Althea Greene said, “we are here today because enough is enough. How many children will continue to die?”

Greene and four other board members issued a “Call to Action,” a plea to parents and other adults to get involved to stop the gun violence that killed 10 children and sent at least 73 to the hospital with gunshot wounds.   

“How many times do I have to call and offer my support and my condolences as clergy to families? I know that it is my job to do that, but at some point, community, we need your help,” said Greene.

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The school district said it will do its part.  The district will spend some of the 15 million dollars in federal COVID-19 money to hire behavioral specialists, social workers, staff to cut down on truancy and part-time tutors for homeless students. 

Board member Stephanie Love said, “we are also asking for those other funding bodies to go into the community and find out what the problem is.”

One local community activist told FOX13 the school district needs to hire more grief and trauma counselors.  

Pastor Charlie Caswell, executive director Legacy of Legends CDC, said he fears children “are not focusing on the basics of academics. They are still dealing with the flight and fright of the trauma that they had to endure of this past year.”

Board members said part of their goal for this call to action is to get people thinking about how to be proactive against gun violence and get involved and be held accountable.