Press Statement: Urban Youth Collaborative Responds to Tragic Incident at Bronx High School

September 27th, 2017
Contacts: Roberto Cabanas,, 973.432.2406
Youth-Led Coalition, Urban Youth Collaboartive, Responds to Tragic Incident at Bronx High School
In response to the tragic incident that occured this morning at a Bronx high school, Urban Youth Collaborative released the following joint statement from Bryan Aju and Aaron Acevedo, Bronx high school students and youth leaders with the Urban Youth Collaborative, and Roberto Cabanas, Urban Youth Collaborative Coordinator
We are saddened to our core by this mornings tragedy at a Bronx High School. A young person has tragically lost their life, another has been seriously harmed, and another young life will be forever altered. Our communities are often left searching for answers when interpersonal violence creates so much pain and trauma. To begin a long and difficult healing process we hope the immediate and long-term responses prioritize trauma informed care and support for students, school-based staff, and families.
Our organizing efforts and advocacy are grounded in the belief that we can create safe and supportive environments for young people by ensuring communities and schools have the resources and tools necessary for addressing the root causes of interpersonal violence, and eliminating responses that compound trauma. The default response following tragic incidents involving young people in communities of color has been to prioritize policing and incarceration. We can’t return to the default responses. Research shows the most promising strategies for sustaining safe and supportive school communitites is building strong relationships between students and staff through the use of restorative practices and increasing the number of guidance counselors, social workers, and trained mental health support staff.
We hope that over the coming days, weeks, and months ahead this school community is provided with the support and resources they need to heal. How we respond now should be informed by what we have learned about the social, emotional, and mental development of young people. We should be careful we don’t shift the paradigm back in a direction that harms the very young people who need the most support.