WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on the tragic shootings and deaths at Chardon High School in Ohio:
"These deaths are tragic and senseless. The victims are beloved sons and brothers, daughters and sisters, students, friends and classmates, and their loss leaves us with a sad and heavy heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Chardon High School community.
"No child, educator or school employee should ever fear for his or her safety while in the classroom. We know that a safe and nurturing school environment is critical to helping children learn and grow. And it takes all of us—parents, educators, support staff, students, administrators, and town and city officials—to create safe and vibrant public schools for our children.
"We'll never be able to prevent every senseless act of violence. But we can put in place strong schoolwide and districtwide systems to define, teach and support positive student behavior. We can increase the number of school social workers, psychologists and counselors in our schools. And we can build an effective, proactive communications system between community service agencies and school staff to ensure that students receive the attention and support they need to be productive members of the school community."