WASHINGTON—The AFT sent a letter to Congress today to express support for H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018. AFT President Randi Weingarten also issued the following statement:
“Safe schools require more than words or thoughts and prayers. This bill is a solid step toward helping schools be safe sanctuaries for teaching and learning—but there is much more work to be done. We must invest in prevention: mental health supports for students and educators, more counselors, after-school activities, and programs like peer counseling, wellness programs and other social supports. Equally important, we need commonsense gun safety legislation that is supported by huge majorities of Americans, even gun owners.
“Today, teachers and school personnel around the country are supporting student-led walkouts to make clear that we will not rest until we see action to stop gun violence in our schools. I was honored to join students at New York City’s Leadership and Public Service High School for their walkout to Zuccotti Park. These kids are fighting for their lives. They aren’t intimidated by the NRA, and unlike the White House, they are committed to change. To them, enough means enough, and I am inspired by their actions and unity to make change happen. It’s time to value our children more than guns.
“We will not rest until we see action—and that includes, as the students said today, helping people to register to vote and voting for people in November who stand with students, parents and teachers, not the gun industry.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.