COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Though it was more than 1,000 miles away, many of the emotions being felt in Texas are also being felt here in central Ohio.
Columbus City Council held a meeting Tuesday night about efforts to stop violence in the city. The meeting was scheduled long before the tragic school shooting in Texas left at least 19 children and one adult dead.
But the meeting didn’t start without pausing and thinking about those in Texas, a moment of silence being observed to reflect on the lives lost and the lives forever changed in Uvalde.
“Before we get started today, I want to acknowledge the atrocity that’s occurred in Texas,” said City Councilmember Emmanuel Remy, chairman of the city’s Public Safety Committee.
The city’s departments of public safety, police, public health, and recreation and parks all attended the meeting to discuss their work to make Columbus safer.
“Basically, one of the reasons why we’re here today is to avoid situations like we’ve seen in so many instances around this country,” Remy said.
Marian Stuckey is the section chief of Neighborhood Social Services at Columbus Public Health. Like people nationwide, the Texas shooting is on her mind.
“I think about what those families are experiencing,” Stuckey said. “Traumatic loss is the most devastating type of loss. You’re not expecting it. It happens out of the blue. You’re expecting to go get your children from school and this happens.”
She leads the Care Coalition, which helps families and neighborhoods after traumatic events. Stuckey said families here will see the awful news out of Texas and be affected by it. Children going to school tomorrow might have questions or be worried.
“That is totally normal, to experience fear or anxiety especially after something like this happens at such a public place where we’re all going,” Stuckey said. “We’re dropping our kids off, kids are spending their whole day. So, it's really important that parents acknowledge that anxiety, that fear, and talk about it.”
Another thing Stuckey tells people dealing with this or other trauma is to provide space to children and young people, but don’t force space on them.