Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Terrorist Attack at New Zealand Mosques

For Release: 

Friday, March 15, 2019


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after 49 people were killed and 20 were seriously injured in two separate shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand:

“When terrorism enters our houses of worship, it violates our most sacred covenants of peace, brother- and sisterhood, and safety. Our hearts break today for the people affected by this horrific act of violence, for the people of New Zealand and for Muslims everywhere who feel afraid to practice what they believe.

“Religious diversity is what makes us stronger, not weaker. Tolerance is what gives us humanity, not cruelty. In the wake of this terrible attack, we call on elected officials to commit themselves to opposing hate speech and hate violence in every form, and we call on citizens of the world to stand in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors, co-workers, students and friends. May the memories of the lives lost in this horrific act be a blessing to all of us.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.