AFT - American Federation of Teachers

09/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/09/2019 21:53

America’s Teachers and Students Call for Action on Gun Safety in Full-Page Ad

WASHINGTON-The American Federation of Teachers, Brady, and March for Our Lives will run a full page ad in Tuesday's Politico. The ad features a young female student hiding under her desk during an active-shooter drill. Today, 95 percent of public school students participate in these drills. The ad calls on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop blocking gun violence prevention legislation already passed in the House of Representatives. A copy of the ad is available upon request and can also be viewed on the organizations' social media feeds: @aftunion, @bradybuzz, @AMarch4OurLives.

The groups, representing America's educators and students-two constituencies overwhelmingly affected by gun violence-are using the ad as part of a national campaign to demand federal action on gun safety legislation. The campaign also includes grass-roots mobilization efforts nationwide; regulatory, legislative and legal work to hold accountable those complicit in perpetuating a broken gun-safety system in America; and a massive effort to reform corporate and retail behavior on gun and ammunition sales.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

'Educators and students went back to school this year feeling deeply anxious; in fact, gun violence is the No. 1 thing most teenagers in this country are afraid of. But no one should be scared to go to school, or should spend more time in drills hiding under desks or running for exits than they spend focused on classwork or pursuing their dreams. Schools must be safe and welcoming environments for students and staff alike, and that's why America's teachers and students are championing gun safety policies. It's time for politicians to care about kids' safety more than they fear the National Rifle Association. As McConnell tries to shift blame for his inaction, we're here fighting for commonsense gun safety laws like background checks, red-flag protection orders, safe storage provisions and high-capacity magazine bans-laws that will actually keep our kids alive, not hiding under their desks in schools.'

Brady President Kris Brown said:

'Teachers and students should be able to focus on teaching and learning-plain and simple. When voters elected a gun violence prevention majority last fall, we saw them take action immediately. Those bills have been sitting on McConnell's desk since March. And every day they've sat there, another 100 people in America lost their lives to gun violence. Our Senate can end this carnage today, but they must take action.'

March For Our Lives Federal Affairs Manager Eve Levenson said:

'As the nation heads back to school and Congress back into session, Washington should prioritize the well being of students over the gun lobby. Today's POLITICO ad calls out Mitch McConnell who stands in the way of legislation passed in the House that he alone has prevented the Senate from voting on. Our schools, our teachers, our communities all deserve to live without fear of the next mass shooting or of daily gun violence. It's time Mitch McConnell and the Senate prioritized public safety and ending America's gun violence epidemic over their NRA donations.'