Neither I, nor Ruvna, have responded yet to the tragedy which took the lives of 14 students and 3 staff members, and injured many more, earlier this month in Broward County. Since that time I have been struggling with what I want to say and how best to say it. I’m filled with anger, frustration, and a fair amount of defeat.
I want first to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire Stoneman Douglas community. I’m also incredibly inspired by the brave and heroic acts taken by individuals during the shooting, and by the conversation catalyzed by the rightful outrage from these amazing young adults.
For those that don’t know: In 2016, my co-founders and I created Ruvna because we felt that school safety was in a critical state of despair. During times of crisis, schools need to know where their students are, and they need to identify those who require support, and that’s where Ruvna comes in. Since that time, we’re grateful that the Ruvna school crisis management platform has grown to protect more than 17,000 students daily across 8 states, and we certainly don’t take that privilege and responsibility lightly.
On February 14, I was training staff at a new school of ours. I was working with dozens of dedicated and exceptional educators to prepare for events which we never want – and should never expect – to happen, just like we’ve done with hundreds of staff members at schools so far this year. Unbeknownst to me, as I was training these teachers on how to respond to something as tragic as a school shooting, there were teachers in Florida using their bodies as shields to protect students from gunfire.
While Ruvna is vital for helping schools respond to such horrific crises, it should be protection that schools never have to put to the test in a “life or death” scenario. Yet, as our government continues to abstain from significant steps towards preventing future tragedies, our duty to help schools prepare and protect has never been more imperative. Still, we yearn for the day when Ruvna’s largest value to schools is efficiency and accountability, rather than mitigating calamity and tragedy.
Gun violence in schools is disgraceful, disgusting, and deeply disturbing. Unfortunately, it is also far too common in our country. It’s too easy for people to get guns of any kind, especially war machines designed to maximize deadly force. It’s far too easy for these weapons to make their way into schools.
We look forward to the day when parents send their children to school with only excitement for the education and growth bound for them, and not with any fears or worries about potential dangers they may encounter.
We must demand change. We must work to prevent these tragedies, to prevent weapons from ever reaching any school’s campus, and to prevent any school from needing to use a system like Ruvna in tragedies such as these in the first place.