RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras is calling on political leaders to ban assault rifles.

“No clever zingers here to enrage the opposition. Just a simple, gut-wrenching request made with humility: please ban assault rifles,” Kamras tweeted Friday evening. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I don’t know how to protect my 22,000 students from them. They scare the hell out of me. I’m begging you.”

Parents across Central Virginia reacted with shock to Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. “It’s just like shock and anger. Disgust and frustration,” one parent said. “This is a collective tragedy.” The event also led Virginia lawmakers and political leaders on both sides of the aisle to revisit gun control and school safety debates.

On Wednesday, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine gave an emotional speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, calling on congress to take action on gun control. “We didn’t do anything, at the federal level, after Virginia Tech. We didn’t do anything after Pulse. We didn’t do anything after Las Vegas. And we didn’t do anything after Sandy Hook,” he said.

In Chesterfield, the county government released a joint statement with its school division about school security measures and the resources in place to help provide a safe learning environment for kids.

Earlier in the week, the Virginia Democratic Party also called on Lt. Gov. Earle-Sears not to speak at Friday’s NRA event in Texas.