The Muscatine Police Department and the Muscatine Community School District released a statement Wednesday in regard to the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, and the current safety efforts for Muscatine school students and staff.

The statement follows:

Late Tuesday afternoon, the news was breaking across the country regarding a school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. We learned that 21 people were killed, including 19 students and two teachers. The Muscatine Community School District and the Muscatine Police Department mourn the loss of the families and friends impacted by this tragedy.

It is essential for our families to know that while we may not know the ‘why’ behind these senseless acts, the MCSD team of counselors is available to support students and staff members. We also want to communicate and update the Muscatine community on our ongoing safety efforts taken to protect our Muskie students and staff members.

We continue to work on safety and emergency operation plans for the school district with emergency response personnel, and the Muscatine Police Department. That includes a multi-layered approach to school safety including; secure entrances and classroom doors, security cameras, school resource officers on-site at the junior high and high school along with added mental health support for students.

In light of the tragic events in Uvalde, we strongly encourage all MCSD families to talk to their students and listen to their concerns. We also urge that students continue to “See Something, Say Something” and communicate with school officials when they observe things that concern them. Students should never feel intimidated or embarrassed by sharing their concerns. The Muscatine Community School District and Muscatine Police Department appreciate the continued support from families, staff members, and the entire Muscatine community. The goal is to provide a safe environment for all our students and staff members.

The statement is from Clint Christopher, superintendent, and Bret Talkington, chief of police.