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NEA urges independent investigation of missing teacher trainees from teachers’ college in Mexico

Forty three teacher trainees missing since September 2014


WASHINGTON - July 20, 2015 -

The National Education Association (NEA) is calling for a new and independent investigation with full public disclosure regarding the September 2014 disappearance of 43 teacher trainees from the Escuela Normal de Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state in Mexico.

It has been reported that the teacher trainees disappeared while participating in political protests. According to reports, 22 police officers from Ayotzinapa also are being held while the full investigation into their actions continues, with further investigation to identify additional people who may responsible for these crimes.

In a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García urged him to ensure that justice in Guerrero state is at the top of his priorities as the investigation proceeds into the missing students. Eskelsen García also appealed to President Peña Nieto to help make sure that schools and teacher training colleges across Mexico are sanctuaries for safety and human rights.

“All people — regardless of their country of origin— deserve the full exercise of their human rights, including freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

Eskelsen García expressed concern on behalf of 3 million NEA members, regarding the well-being of the missing teacher trainees and the identities of the murdered citizens who were discovered in mass graves.

“As teachers, we understand the importance of a dignified salary and the importance of fair pay in both rural and urban communities,” Eskelsen García said. “Quality public education is an essential investment that impacts the future of nations. Well-trained and equipped teachers, who work in safe environments, are best able to teach students.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Celeste Busser
202-262-0589, cfbusser@nea.org