USA: Call for strong response to ongoing school shootings
Jan 18, 2013 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) --
After another school shooting in Taft, California, EI's national affiliates, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), have expressed their deep shock and reiterated the urgent need to prevent future tragedies.
NEA: recommendations to reduce gun violence
"We are shaken and dismayed to learn about yet another school shooting," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, member of a selected group of national leaders advising US Vice President Biden's task force on gun violence. "This time, violence struck the community of Taft Union High School in Taft, California. Gun violence in the sanctuary of our schools is unacceptable and this latest event underscores what we already knew: we have an urgent need for national actions to prevent future tragedies."
He went on to stress that the nation will look to the White House for solutions as Vice President Biden's task force reports on its recommendations to reduce gun violence. The NEA's proposals to the national leadership include sensible gun safety measures, but focus on preventative measures including greater access to mental health services, and the infrastructure, training and programmes that will ensure safe learning environments for children.
"Our thoughts are with the Taft Union High School community and we wish the injured a speedy recovery," Van Roekel added.
The NEA Health Information Network created The School Crisis Guide in order to foster the creation of crisis teams with the ideas, tips, tools, and resources that spur effective leadership and crisis management. The guide is available here
AFT: advocating for gun safety and mental health services
This school shooting, which occurred just weeks after the Newtown tragedy, reinforce AFT President Randy Weingarten's words after the December mass shooting: "Americans saw that educators' instincts are to love, to serve and to protect. That's why they are public servants. That's why first responders do what they do. The most important questions going forward are 'How do we create a safe society How do we ensure that schools are safe havens '"
She said the Newtown shooting compels all Americans more than ever to advocate for gun safety and mental health services.
The AFT urges the US Congress to pass reasonable gun violence-prevention legislation. The campaign can be found here
The educators' union also developed tools to help teachers deal with incidences of school violence.
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