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State Superintendent, SBE President Respond to Texas Elementary School Massacre

LANSING – Nineteen elementary students and two teachers were murdered by a teenage gunman inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. It was the 27th school shooting in the United States so far this year.

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich expressed their call for urgent action in response:

“On an afternoon when we were celebrating Potterville Elementary School, discussing children’s mental health with school and district staff, community, and children, and promoting the value of children’s mental health supports, a tragedy struck a Texas elementary school,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.  “Six months ago, it was Oxford.  A week and a half ago, it was Buffalo.  Where will it strike next?

“At a time when we have increased, and need to continue to increase, mental health screenings and supports in Michigan, including passage of the governor’s proposed $361 million in additional children’s mental health investments in the fiscal year 2022-23 state budget, we also need to reduce dramatically the availability of weapons for those who are underage and those who have been found to be a threat to themselves or others. Congress needs to act…and if Congress doesn’t have the collective courage and wisdom to do so, our state legislature must,” Dr. Rice added.

Dr. Ulbrich said schools must be sanctuaries of learning and growth and not targets for people with ready access to weapons intent on killing children and terrorizing our communities.

“Families should not fear sending their children to schools dreading that they may not be coming home at the end of the day,” Dr. Ulbrich said. “What happened in Texas yesterday, in Oxford earlier this year, and in dozens of other schools across our nation over the past 10 years is infuriating as much as it is sad.

“While legislatures focus their attention on trying to make our schools fortresses against these senseless invasions by killers, greater focus needs to be narrowed to passing stronger gun laws and providing more mental health services for people struggling with their inability to live and function in a civil and peaceful society. This needs to be done quickly so no more communities and families suffer the painful loss of their children.”


Schools, students, educators, and community members are encouraged to report any instances of threats, bullying, or harmful behavior to Michigan’s OK2SAY hotlines. Anyone can report tips confidentially on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools.

OK2SAY is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729); texting OK2SAY (652729); or emailing

Specially trained technicians receive the tips and filter the information to the appropriate agency to provide a timely and effective response.

For more information, go to the OK2SAY website.