Head of School Statement
Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 | 6:35pm
As an educational community built on the attributes of respect, empathy, and kindness, we were horrified to learn about the tragic loss of life at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas just a few hours ago. At last report, eighteen elementary school aged children and at least one teacher have lost their lives in this senseless and heinous attack. There are no words that can accurately or adequately express our grief for the families of those whose lives have been taken. The Austin International School community offers its heartfelt condolences to the families and staff of Robb Elementary School, as well as to the entire Uvalde community.
School plays an undeniably essential role in society; tomorrow’s leaders, activists, team members, and inventors walk our halls every day. At its core, school is and must always be a safe place to learn and grow—personally, socially, and academically. Staff, students, and families alike must feel and be safe when they come to campus each day. Families must be confident that the most important people in their lives are safe at school. Teachers, staff members, and school leaders, we must be able to come to school knowing that we are safe when working toward our vision and through our mission to serve our students every day. Our community—we—must support one another each day, every day. We must do this through empathy, kindness, and respect.
At Austin International School, we take school safety seriously. Our last safety report from the Austin Police Department gave our school and its practices an “A-rating” for school safety. As a recommitment to ensuring a safe and secure campus, we will host Austin Police Department for a new security audit of our campus in light of a number of our new practices put into place since the start of the pandemic. Our staff training has and will include active shooter responses as well as trauma response training.
It is a sad and sobering reality that such training forms part of teacher in-service. Violence has no place in society and certainly not in school. We call on civic leaders to end bickering and in-fighting that hinder society’s ability to address these shameful acts of violence. It must stop. And it must stop now.
As a community and as a society, we are stronger together—when we take care of each other and when we look out for one another. We call on all people to act with empathy by actively listening to one another. We encourage everyone to seek help when needed, to offer it when requested, and to bring concerns to the attention of those who can offer additional support.
Today, our hearts were shattered once again. A las familias de Uvalde: les acompañamos en el inmenso dolor que supone la pérdida incomprensible de su maestro, de sus hijas y de sus hijos.
Mr. Jacques A. Weber, M.Ed.
Head of School/Chef d'Établissement