The time to act is now.
NYSUT is joining its national affiliates — the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association — and the Network for Public Education for a National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools on April 20 — the anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.
"We are united in our commitment to ensuring that every school is a sanctuary for teaching and learning, and is a safe, nurturing environment for all," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta.
Since Columbine, 136 students and educators have been killed in shootings at schools, including the 17 students and educators who were victims of the mass shooting in February at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Students, parents, educators and their supporters are wasting no time in making their feelings clear: schools must be safe learning environments. Candlelight vigils, rallies and school walk-ins are being planned for the Day of Action to send a strong message to state and federal lawmakers that their failure to enact rational gun laws is inexcusable.
Educators are also encouraged to wear orange on March 14 — the Women's March has announced a National School Walkout. Students plan to walk out of their schools for 17 minutes to honor the lives lost in Parkland.
Students from around the country will converge on Washington, D.C. on March 24 to call for an end to gun violence against our students and educators on school campuses. NEA and AFT plan to provide support for the students.
You can also help the students, families, educators and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School and the surrounding school community by donating to AFT's Disaster Relief Fund — www.aft.org/broward-relief. Your contribution will go directly to providing resources and support for the those affected by this recent tragedy in Florida.