For Immediate Release
April 19, 2018
Nineteen years ago in a suburban Denver-area high school, two armed youth killed 15 students and teachers and wounded two dozen others. The mass killing at Columbine High School stands today, for many, as the opening wave of school violence that continues to shake our nation’s conscience.
Today, in Kansas City, violence damages our community each day, impacting family, youth, schools, businesses and so many others. Kansas City has long ranked among the nation’s most violent cities.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, with support from the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, will hold on April 20, a special daylong discussion called The Realities of Gun Violence in Kansas City: A Community Discussion. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road in Kansas City.
The event will assemble the voices of gun violence’s toll – from a Columbine survivor to front-line responders to victims left behind to bear the long-term impacts of trauma.
“Our community must learn to better cope with the daily violence and its enormous impacts on children, families and community,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. “Our children bear the greatest burden. Some in urban neighborhoods go to bed despite the sound of gunfire in the night. Others can’t help but worry about an unsuspected shooter at school.”
“We must all work together to reduce the level of violence,” Baker added. “But we also must all make ourselves more aware of the impacts of this level of violence on the institutions of our city, the hospitals, the schools, the businesses and our households.”
On the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Samantha Haviland -- who was a 16-year-old student at Columbine on April 20, 1999 and now directs counseling services for Denver Public Schools -- will address the trauma that follows a mass shooting.
Other speakers include:
-- Dr. Richard Rosenthal, Founders Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri St. Louis, who will address violence rates here, in St. Louis, in Missouri and across the nation.
-- Jennifer Joyce, the former St. Louis Circuit Attorney, who will detail the evolution of Missouri gun laws.
-- Surgeons, nurses and educators from Truman Medical Center who will address the “stop the bleed” campaign by Truman Medical Center. They will address the basics of tourniquets for first responders and the trauma team’s response.
-- Dr. Joah Williams, Associate Professor at UMKC, on the psychosocial and health consequences of trauma exposure, including the evaluation of traumatic stress prevention and early intervention programs. Dr. Kimberly Randell, a physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital will address the impacts of trauma exposure on families.
-- Other local speakers will include organizers of recent student protests against gun violence, and representatives of organizations working to reduce violence in our community.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954