WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten responds to President Trump’s speech at the National Rifle Association’s convention:
“Gun violence now kills more young people in our country than car accidents. Instead of being a champion for children and working to fight our nation’s gun violence epidemic, the president wants more guns in schools regardless of the consequences.
“The president should be a cheerleader for students, parents and educators, not for the NRA and gun manufacturers. President Trump continues to call for arming teachers and school staff with guns, but he’s been completely silent when it comes to what educators have asked to be armed with—the respect and resources they need to teach students.
“Teachers don’t want a president who praises them one day—as Trump did yesterday at the Teacher of the Year reception—but the next day stands with the gun lobby to promote an idea that helps their profits but is antithetical to what teachers believe and want. Just ask NRA members who are teachers, and they will tell you how unsafe and counterproductive arming teachers is—teachers like Richard Simak, who says guns belong in a duck blind, not in a biology lab. This is yet one more reason the November elections are so important: so educators, parents and students can elect people who will listen to their pleas for schools as safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses.”