Educators across the state mourn Uvalde, express anger that Texas schools are again targets of attacks

Empty Hallway at Robb elementary with balloons and banners welcoming kids back to school in August 2021.
Photo: Banners and balloons welcome Robb Elementary students back to school in August 2021.

In a letter to our members and educators across the state, Texas AFT President Zeph Capo spoke to the intensity of emotions we all are feeling about the Uvalde shooting and the need to hold some state officials accountable: 

Yesterday was a dark day in Texas as we faced yet another school shooting—this one taking the lives of at least 19 children and two teachers. Those teachers reportedly put their bodies in front of the rain of bullets trying to save their students. The path ahead will be a difficult one for the Uvalde community.

All shootings are devastating. But as I’ve talked to friends and colleagues, I know that I’m not alone in hurting worse than ever, imagining the grief and loss at an even deeper level, and trying to find some productive way to manage the rage burning in me.

We don’t need more guns in schools. We don’t need another round table to explore options; we’ve done that. We need legislation that addresses commonsense issues and ensures our children and their teachers can learn and work without constant fear for their lives.

Cover of "Keeping Our Schools Safe" report with empty gymnasium and basketball hoop

More on the Uvalde shooting:

  • Read Capo’s letter to members.
  • See the Texas AFT statement to the media and AFT President Randi Weingarten’s statement.
  • Texas AFT will be supporting the entire community in Uvalde and the families of those killed and injured. Please consider a donation to our Disaster Relief Fund to support that effort. In times like these, a show of support from union members and all school employees will help the healing begin.
  • Thousands of protestors are expected in Houston today to demand that lawmakers take the first, simple steps to enact commonsense measures to regulate gun purchases. Texas AFT and our local unions are joining with Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense, March for Our Lives, Mothers Against Greg Abbott, and several other organizations to help transport people to the “Rally Against Violence” at noon today (May 27) at Houston’s Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street.  <best Facebook link here?>
  • Protestors will also rally outside the National Rifle Association conference in Houston. Gov. Greg Abbott had intended to speak at the conference, along with Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. However, after intense criticism from the public, the governor is now expected to hold another press conference in Uvalde today and provide taped video remarks to the NRA gathering.
  • Wondering what can be done to stop the violence and why arming teachers isn’t the answer? Read AFT’s 2020 report with EveryTown USA on concrete steps we can take to stop gun violence in schools.