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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s Statement on New Gun Control Proposal

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Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on proposals to reduce gun violence and create safe schools and communities: 

“The tragic events of Newtown must serve as a clarion call for immediate action to keep our communities safe from gun violence and ensure schools are the safe sanctuaries our children need to learn and grow. We applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for heeding this call for action with a series of common-sense, balanced proposals that will make our nation safer, including:

Banning the sale of the kind of large ammunition clips that were used to massacre 26 children and adults and injure others at Sandy Hook Elementary School;Expanding background checks before purchasing a gun and cracking down on those who lie on background checks;Cracking down on illegal gun trafficking;Banning assault weapons that have no other use but to kill a large number of people quickly;Enforcing current gun laws and investing in research around combating gun violence; andInvesting in mental health services.

“Schools across our country are in desperate need of resources to create safe, secure and nurturing learning environments, and we are glad the president has recognized that need. Some schools, due to their remoteness or following horrendous tragedies such as the massacre in Newtown, may decide that appropriately trained police officers are necessary. Other schools may decide instead that more school guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists are needed. These decisions should be made by individual school communities following safety audits.

“Under no circumstances should educators have the responsibility of being armed, and schools should not become armed fortresses. The role of educators is to teach and nurture our children, not to be armed guards.

“In times of great tragedy, Americans have always come together to grieve, to support one another, and to act—to put aside what divides us and take collective action to heal and move our nation forward. Too many of our children have had their lives cut short and their futures denied by gun violence—in their schools and in their communities. We have a set of effective proposals and now we must find the political will to get it done.”

Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten

American Federation of Teachers Aids In Healing After NEWTOWN Tragedy

I just wanted to take a minute to share a few links from the American Federation of Teachers.  AFT has been instrumental in helping after the tragedy in Newtown CT.

Today I would like to highlight three links that you can use as well to help deal with this tragedy.  The first is the AFT Resource page on dealing with incidences of school violence.  Nobody wants to see violence in our schools but it is inevitable.  Extreme actions like Newtown are extremely rare.  However schools, teachers, and parents have to deal with other violent issues in schools that range from bullying to rape.  Use this resource page from AFT to help find ways to better safeguard our children is school.

Along the same lines, AFT has create a page to help educators cope with traumatic events.   From page:

“Administrators and educators need to be prepared to deal with any crisis that might arise; such preparation will better equip them to respond to students’ emotional needs in the wake of a crisis. These resources may be of help to you in helping your students cope with fear and trauma.”

This page gives tools to help educators learn how to respond to traumatic events, and preventive measures to stop these events before they happen.

Lastly, a very special page. The AFT Connecticut has created a place where you can leave a message of support for students, teachers, staff and the community of Newtown.  That is right, you can send a personal message of support the families in Newtown.   The messages are being collected and distributed to the AFT locals around Newtown.

We will be presenting these messages to our locals, Newtown Federation of Teachers, Local 1727, Newtown Federation of Custodians Local 3924 and Newtown Federation of Education Personnel Local 3785. (AFT-CT)

Please take a moment to send you message of support to these fellow union members who, through no fault of their own, have just endured one of the most tragic events in a decade.



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