Message from the Chancellor: Tragedy in Uvalde

Dear Riverbats,
As we begin the day today, our neighbors to the southwest, in Uvalde, Texas, are going
through the unimaginable. Senseless violence claimed the lives of 19 innocent children
and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. Words cannot capture the shock,
sadness, and suffering. Our schools are a place where we should feel safe and
protected. That was stripped away in a moment of tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts are
with the children, families, friends, and neighbors impacted by this senseless violence.
This is the second shooting with mass casualties in the past 10 days across our nation.
Many of you may be feeling scared and confused. I will never be able to find the words
that offer the comfort any of us need during times like these, but I do want you to know
that your college is here for you.
In your moments of pain, I urge you to seek support. We have resources for you at
ACC. ACC’s counselors are available to meet with students one-on-one. Reach out,
and seek their guidance. Employees, don’t forget about our Employee Assistance
Program. Here, you’ll find support as well.
When you are here — on campus — I hope you feel safe and secure. Campus safety
and security are top priorities at ACC. Though these horrific events are impossible to
comprehend, our Safety and Operations Department, Emergency Management, and
District Police Department regularly train on these scenarios. The college has resources
to empower our students, faculty, and staff to be safe and take precautions during
emergencies such as an active shooter situation.
I invite everyone to review this link outlining the college’s Active Shooter Reporting and
Response Procedures. Here, you’ll find helpful links to resources and training videos to
help you prepare for such a situation. I’ve also asked our Emergency Management and

Operations teams to share with you additional training opportunities where you can
learn more about how to report an incident and how to respond.
The ACC District Police Department has officers certified in the Advanced Law
Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program. This is a national standard
for response to critical incidents involving firearms. It is just one way we continue to
remain prepared for the unexpected.
Today, as we continue to come to terms with the realities of the past weeks, I
encourage us all to take care of one another. Be kind, caring, and understanding. We
each hold the power to make the change we wish to see. That’s the beauty of our
institution. ACC is for everyone, and we will always be here for you.

Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District

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