Des Moines’ Latino community calls for more support after fatal shooting

Prominent local Latino community leaders are calling the shooting outside East High School in Des Moines a wake-up call Classes are canceled at East High School for the rest of the week as students , teachers and parents mourn the violent attack.The United Latin American Citizens League of Iowa says the shootings underscore the need for gun control and more mental health services in schools . “We need more than tears, more than an end to the violence. We need support,” said Joe Henry of LULAC from Iowa. Henry says young Latinos are falling through the cracks and not getting the support they need in schools. without getting into a gang,” Henry said. About 28%, more than one in four, of Des Moines public school students are Latino, but community leaders say there aren’t enough mental health counselors or bilingual staff to support them. Dawn Orepeza, executive director of Al Exito, says there is only one counselor for every 400 students in Des Moines “There just aren’t enough Spanish resources in the schools to really ensuring that our community is taken care of – and safety issues,” Orepeza said. The community is asking for more state funding for more mental health professionals who understand their culture. “I think the Latino population Americans are often overlooked. Their parents push for their education. There just isn’t enough communication and partnership with the Latino community to make sure their unique needs are being met,” Orpeza said.

Prominent local Latino community leaders are calling the shooting outside East High School in Des Moines a wake-up call.

Classes are canceled at East High School for the rest of the week as students, teachers and parents mourn the violent attack.

The United Latin American Citizens League of Iowa says the shootings underscore the need for gun control and more mental health services in schools.

“We need more than tears, more than an end to the violence. We need support,” said Joe Henry of LULAC from Iowa. Henry says young Latinos are falling through the cracks and not getting the support they need in schools.

“Whether it’s mental health or counseling about hopes and dreams they might have, or letting them know that there are ways to achieve things without getting into a gang,” Henry said. .

About 28%, more than one in four, of Des Moines public school students are Latino, but community leaders say there aren’t enough mental health counselors or bilingual staff to support them. Dawn Orepeza, executive director of Al Exito, says there is only one counselor for every 400 students in Des Moines

“There just aren’t enough Spanish resources in schools to really make sure our community is taken care of — and the safety issues,” Orepeza said.

Community calls for more state funding for more mental health professionals who understand their culture

“I think the Latino population is often overlooked. Their parents push for their education. There just isn’t enough communication and partnership with the Latino community to make sure their unique needs are met,” said said Orpeza.

Edward K. Thompson