Our hearts are broken yet again by the senseless and tragic shooting in our nation’s public schools, this time in Parkland, Florida. This hits so close to home as our educators and students here in Oregon spend significant time each school year practicing drills for catastrophic events such as this one. This shooting is the eighteenth school shooting so far in 2018 – an average of one every 2.5 days.
While our thoughts and prayers are with Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, educators and their families in Florida, we know that we, as country and as a state, need to take action to end these senseless shootings.
“As educators, our foremost priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students. We all have a responsibility to create safe schools and communities. As a state and a country, we can and must do more to ensure that everyone who walks through our school doors — student, educator, parent or community member — is safe and free from violence,” says John Larson, OEA President.
6 Ways to Take Action on Gun Violence
The time is NOW. Take action on the gun violence that continues to plague our schools, our houses of worship, our theaters, concerts and in our neighborhoods.
- Contact your members of Congress and demand #CommonSenseGunLaws.
- Make a donation to support the victims and families who lost loved ones in #ParklandFL. We know we can’t take away their pain, but we can support our sisters and brothers.
- Send condolences and encouragement to the Stoneman Douglas Community.
- Make resources for helping and healing in a time of crisis available to your community. Here's a step-by-step resource created by educators for educators to keep schools safe -- before, during and after crisis.
- Support each other. Continue to share as many resources and tools with your colleagues on how to help students cope.
- Prioritize self-care. Educators provide daily support for their students and after a tragedy these demands go well beyond training or expertise. It's extremely important for educators to monitor their own reactions and take care of their own needs.
Join the National Day of Action
From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Marshall County to Parkland, Florida, it's abundantly clear we are not doing enough to protect our students and schools from gun violence. On April 20, join the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Every community's response to this problem will be different, but we will all send the same message to our elected leaders: We can no longer tolerate inaction.
NEA wants to know: what do you want your community's Day of Action to look like on April 20? How will you take action against gun violence in schools?