PROVIDENCE, RI — Following the tragedy that occurred yesterday outside the Providence Career and Technical Academy, words feel entirely inadequate. As a father, as a teacher, as a resident of this wonderful city, I struggle to identify any possible phrase to match the level of
loss, fear, and anger, which I am sure so many members of our community are feeling.

What words of comfort can we offer the family, friends, classmates, and teachers of the 15-year boy old who was killed? What statements of promise can we provide to parents and neighbors who are feeling fearful and looking for answers?

Where words fail, actions speak. So, while we let the coming weeks be a time for grieving, caring, and healing, let them also be a time for action. My thoughts and prayers are indeed with the family of the victim and all those affected. My wife and I cannot begin to imagine the depth
of their pain. But my promise of action is with them as well.

What happened yesterday is an issue of public safety. Our police department needs the funding and support to allow them to perform their duty of protecting our city and its people. A diverse  police force that reflects our community needs to be a priority. What happened yesterday is an issue of gun violence. There needs to be a collective, dedicated effort to reducing the number of weapons on our streets. Our city should be a place where
everyone feels safe, no matter what neighborhood they live in.

There are many emotions in the wake of this horrible tragedy, and one of them for me is anger. I am angry because this should never have happened here, in our city. A student was murdered. I used to walk the hallways of a school everyday, watching students learn, make friends, and most
importantly, be children. My grandchildren are school-aged, and it infuriates me that this could even be happening outside one of our schools. Our students, our children, should be reveling in the beginning of a new school year, not mourning the loss of a peer. Now, it is time to do
everything in our power to make sure it never happens again. This much we owe to our students, their families, our teachers, and our community