AMS Statement on the Shootings in Atlanta

March 19, 2021

Dear Montessori Community,

The American Montessori Society mourns the tragic and senseless loss of 8 people in shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, including 6 Asian-American women, at the hands of a 21-year-old man now in police custody. Although the motivation for the crime is unknown, this vicious act of violence, regardless of motivation, is abhorrent. Brutality, regardless of cause, has no place in our society and in our world. 

We understand that this crime has added to the fear and pain experienced by the Asian-American community, particularly in the context of anti-Asian hate crimes, which, according to one study, surged nearly 150% in America’s largest cities in 2020.

Now, more than ever, with acts of violence on the rise toward not only Asians, but Blacks and other people of color, it is incumbent upon us as educators and school leaders to revisit the teachings of Maria Montessori and develop our anti-bias, antiracist lens and ensure that the liberatory nature of her philosophy of education for peace and justice is explicit in all of our curricula and interactions, so that all may thrive and live safe and dignified lives.

Our hearts go out to the families and other loved ones of the victims of the fatal shootings. We cannot imagine what it is like to experience grief of this magnitude, and we hold them in our prayers. 

In solidarity,

Munir Shivji

Munir Shivji
Executive Director



Therapy and Mental Health Support 

  • Racial Trauma Toolkit: Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture - Boston College 
  • Asian Mental Health Collective: Building a community for Asian mental health support. 
  • Subtle Asian Mental Health: A member-base Facebook group that endeavors to provide an open, safe, and non-judgmental space to share your thoughts and feelings about anything, especially mental health. 

Crisis Lines 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800-273-8255 (in English)
  • Asian-American Suicide Prevention & Education/Asian Netlife Hotline: 1-877-990-8585 (in Asian languages)
  • Crisis Text Line (for depression): Text “Connect” to 741741 

Stand With

  • Stop AAPI Hate and Stand Against Hatred: Show up to vigils, protests, sign petitions, express your commitment to be there with diverse Asian-American communities, and report incidents.