Yesterday AFT members across the country took part in student-led events to continue the nationwide campaign to stop gun violence on campus. Most Texas schools were on spring break, but two more big opportunities to get involved are coming right up.
On Saturday, March 24, AFT is supporting the student-led March for Our Lives rally. We encourage you to attend a march in your community and show your union pride. For those of you traveling to the rally in Washington, D.C., please join AFT before, during or after the march at AFT headquarters for snacks, a boxed lunch and union solidarity.
On Friday, April 20, AFT—along with the National Education Association, the Badass Teachers Association and the Network for Public Education—is leading a coalition of more than 40 organizations for the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools to take up the students’ call, and we invite individuals and communities across the country to join us.
We’re calling on every community in America to join us—in a way that makes sense for you—to demand that our leaders take real action to end gun violence in our schools and to protect our students.
It could be a rally and walk-in before school. It could be a campus rally, a moment of silence or a schoolwide assembly. Perhaps you’ll write letters in your class, or wear orange at your job site. It might be a service project. In some districts, our unions have already worked with school boards to pass resolutions in support of the student walkouts so students, educators and allies can walk out together.
April 20 marks the 19th year since the Columbine High School shooting. It is long past time for real action to make our schools and communities safe. We will stand together in our communities to demand that our elected leaders take meaningful action to stop the violence.
The problem extends beyond mass shootings. Gun violence affects the daily lives of our students and members far too often in our own communities. It threatens students outside of school—especially in communities of color—and we are committed to fighting for an end to the violence. And we’ve seen the toll gun violence takes on our members—not just on educators and school staff, but on the health professionals who not only treat victims of gun violence but are themselves threatened, on the public employees who experience threats on the job, on our higher education members who know the real danger of gun violence on campus, and on all of us who are tired of feeling the threat of gun violence creep into daily life.
Because our leaders have not acted, we must.