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    First Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day
    Posted on 06/03/2021

    School Board Proclaims the First Friday in June National Gun Violence Awareness Day

    The Seattle School Board unanimously approved a proclamation recognizing the first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day at the regular June 2 board meeting. The proclamation was co-sponsored by Directors Liza Rankin and Lisa Rivera-Smith.

    This proclamation recognizes June 4, 2021 to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Seattle Public Schools to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that we as a community must do all we can to reduce gun violence.

    Gun violence is an epidemic in our society, and victims include school-age students. Evidence strongly suggests that secure firearm storage is an essential component to any effective strategy to keeping students and schools safe, and research shows that secure firearm storage practices are associated with up to an 85% reduction in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens.

    “Gun violence is an issue that touches every community in one way or another, and it’s also something that through community effort and commitment is preventable. Too often, our students and school communities are impacted by the loss or injury of a community member to gun violence or experience a lock down or shelter in place because of a firearm in the area. By raising awareness and promoting strategies like safe storage, we can keep guns out of the hands of children and others who shouldn’t have them, and save lives. Thank you so much to our colleagues and the Superintendent for supporting this proclamation, and to the community groups who are unyielding advocates on this issue, and who partnered with Director Rivera-Smith and me to bring this before the board,” shared Director Liza Rankin after the board vote.

    Across the country, lawmakers, community members, and local leaders are working together to implement public awareness campaigns, such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Be SMART program which is endorsed by the National PTA and which encourages secure gun storage practices and highlights the public safety risks of unsecured guns, and King County has made resources (including King County’s Lock It Up program) available to the public including translated materials that include SPS’ top six languages spoken by our families.

    “We’re proud to have Seattle Public Schools join the chorus of community partners, all working together to educate current and future gun owners about the importance of safe and secure firearms. It’s literally a matter of life and death,” said Director Lisa Rivera-Smith.

    The school board is encouraging all schools to support their local communities’ efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives, and help educate their communities about safe storage of firearms in the home, and to support this campaign by pledging to Wear Orange on June 4th, the first Friday in June in 2021, to raise awareness about gun violence, and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors.

    Read the June 2 Proclamation Recognizing the First Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. This proclamation is in addition to previous board support for sensible gun safety legislation outlined in Board Resolution No. 2017/18-17.

    Additional Information and Resources

    King County Resolution Recognizing June 4 as Regional Community Safety and Well-Being Day in King County

    Public Health Seattle & King County and Zero Youth Detention’s Regional Community Safety and Well-Being plan

    Regional Peacekeepers Collective Article and Upcoming Community Event

    Legislative Policy Platform from Washington State PTA

    Gun Violence Prevention Resolution from Washington State PTA