VEA President Dr. James J. Fedderman and NEA President Becky Pringle issued the following joint statement in the wake of last night’s tragic school shooting at the University of Virginia:
“While we are still learning all the details, we are devastated by reports of the horrific school shooting at the University of Virginia, where three people have been killed and at least two were injured. Murder in any place of learning is unthinkable, and yet their deaths are now an agonizing reality for families and friends whose lives will never again be the same.
“Classrooms and campuses should be safe havens where young people feel welcomed and where learning is celebrated. We are brokenhearted about the lost lives and the trauma for the students and educators who survived this terrible event and will continue to feel its effects for years to come.
“We are also angry. The gun violence at the University of Virginia comes just days after another shooting at Ingraham High School in Seattle. We can best honor the victims of this shooting — and Uvalde, Oxford, Parkland, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and far too many other schools — by demanding a stop to this madness. To abide by the senseless deaths of students means abandoning hope for tomorrow.
“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. They do not capture the heartache, grief, or anger we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — tomorrow, next week, or a couple of months from now.
“We stand in sorrowful solidarity with the victims of this crime and all those who mourn them. And we challenge every politician who plans to offer thoughts and prayers instead to provide effective leadership that makes it harder for murderers to obtain and carry the weapons used in these acts of violence. We challenge elected leaders at every level across the country to no longer side with the gun lobby and instead speak up for the students and communities who are caught up in the preventable epidemic of gun violence. The time is now — before this happens again.
“Our students and their families, as well as our colleagues and our communities, deserve safe schools. We all deserve leaders who value our lives over their campaign contributions.”
Follow VEA on Twitter at @VEA4Kids
Follow NEA on Twitter at @NEAmedia and @BeckyPringle
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About the Virginia Education Association
The Virginia Education Association represents more than 40,000 teachers, school support professionals, and others dedicated to Great Public Schools for Every Child in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Find out more at www.veanea.org.
About the National Education Association
The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.
- Kevin Rogers and Staci Maiers
- Kevin Rogers and Staci Maiers, [email protected]