UNICEF chief urges action to protect children after U.S. Texas school shooting

Published May 26, 2022, 7:06 PM

by Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS, United States — Citing the deaths in the U.S. Texas elementary school shooting, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) asked on Wednesday: how many more children will die before leaders act?

The photo of Makenna Lee Elrod, a little girl victim of the shooting, is seen by flowers placed on a makeshift memorial in front of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25, 2022. The tight-knit Latino community of Uvalde was wracked with grief Wednesday after a teen in body armor marched into the school and killed 19 children and two teachers, in the latest spasm of deadly gun violence in the US. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

“Tragedy after tragedy, shooting after shooting, young life after young life: how many more children will die before government leaders act to keep children and their schools safe?” asked Catherine Russell, executive director of UNICEF. “Because until they do, these horrors will continue.”

She said the children attacked and killed in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday were attending school, the one place outside of their homes where they should be safest.

The 19 children, a teacher and a school staff member who set off for school in the morning will never return home to their families, said Russell, adding that many more who witnessed the carnage will bear the emotional and psychological scars for the rest of their lives.

“It happened in Texas,” she said. “Where will it happen next? This year, we have already seen horrific attacks on schools in Afghanistan, Ukraine, the United States, West Africa and beyond.”

There has been criticism of constitutionally protected U.S. gun laws, especially those allowing the sale of automatic weapons to young people, under 21 years of age.