WATCH: Memphis-Shelby County Schools ‘Takes Strong Stance’ against violence during press conference


Anyone and everyone in Memphis with a conscious and/or a child is fed up with the wave of violent crime that has gripped the city and led to an unprecedented volume of children being shot.

Everyone is sick of it — including officials at Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

During a Thursday press conference, Interim Superintendent Toni Williams was joined by Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy and a group of parents who have lost children to violence. And in an impassioned remarks, she made her position abundantly clear.

“I want you guys to hear me — and hear me loud and clear,” Williams said in her opening remarks. “To everyone, like me, who calls Memphis home, we all know our community is facing an epidemic of crime. This is something we all face every single day.

“This surge in violence has directly impacted Memphis-Shelby County School families,” she continued. “We have lost 38 students in this school year — 22 to violence. Homicides. Twenty-two! Our babies are being affected and families are being torn apart. We must do more as a community.

“Crime affects us all and it is a collective responsibility to combat it,” she said. “Not just one person’s responsibility. Not just one leader’s responsibility. But the collective responsibility.”

Williams indicated that MCSC will step up its game as “crime fighters,” and called on parents to ensure their kids are in school instead of roaming the streets. She also cited poverty and poor mental health as drivers of violent crime.

“The school system cannot do this alone,” Williams said.

Watch the whole conference above.