NAEA Statement in Response to the Santa Fe High School Shooting of May 18, 2018

Press Release

The following statement is from National Art Education Association President Kim Huyler Defibaugh, Ed.D.:

The National Art Education Association calls for urgent action on the part of our nation’s leaders in the wake of the deadly and horrific mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, TX.

Such immediate action has never been more critical as our nation faces again and again the tragic loss of young lives and dedicated educators. A database compiled by The Washington Post has tallied 220 school shootings since the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. According to the Post, 2018 is shaping up to be the worst year for school shootings in America.

The NAEA community expresses deep condolences to all members of the Santa Fe High School community and to all impacted by this deadly act.

It is crucial that we encourage both research and action at every level to ensure the safety and well-being of our nation’s youth. Although much has been learned since the Columbine High School shooting and while teachers and students throughout our nation are “practiced” in important lock-down protocols, that is not enough!

As art educators, the experiences we provide promote better understanding of self and others, compassion and empathy—and the need has never been greater. Our members, and the students we serve and protect, deserve a better, safer way of life than this. It’s time for our nation’s leaders to move forward immediately.

The following list of resources is offered to inform and support your efforts:

The University of Maryland School of Medicine offers timely resources on dealing with traumatic events in a school setting:

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers resources related to school crisis and violence prevention:

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has a longstanding commitment to raising awareness of research on issues of school safety, including bullying:

About NAEA
Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. NAEA advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. Find out more about NAEA at

Explore More