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NEA President: Taft Shooting Underscores Urgent Need to Prevent Future Tragedies


WASHINGTON - January 11, 2013 -

After yet another school shooting took place in Taft, California, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement:

“We are shaken and dismayed to learn about yet another school shooting. 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.

“Next week 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 National Education Association laid out its proposal to our national leadership that, while including sensible gun safety measures, focuses on truly preventative measures including greater access to mental health services, and the infrastructure, training and programs that will ensure safe learning environments for our nation’s children. At Taft High School, it wasn’t an armed guard that prevented further violence and loss of life, it was the bravery and wisdom of a teacher and a campus supervisor. We honor their courage and will work to ensure that everything possible is done to make our schools the safe secure learning environments that they should be.

“Our thoughts are with the Taft Union High School community and we wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

NEA Recommendations to Vice President Biden

NEA’s Health Information Network Crisis Guide
Lessons on Loss: How a school community heals after a student dies - http://www.nea.org/home/38144.htm

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CONTACT: Miguel Gonzalez (202) 822-7823, mgonzalez@nea.org