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Issue Explainer

Gun Violence Prevention

Students need safe environments to learn, live, and grow.
Educators hold up signs that read Protect Our Schools Photo by Patrick Ryan
NEA Members participate in the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C. in 2018
Published: 12/02/2021

Many of today’s youth have grown up in the shadow of mass shootings, including at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Active shooter drills are commonly practiced, starting in elementary school, and can cause a trauma of its own. Educators are increasingly expected to transform from nurturers to first responders at a moment’s notice—having to react and decide the best ways to protect their students based on the circumstances.

Resources: Responding to Gun Violence

Just as students can’t learn if they feel unsafe, they also can’t learn if they are dealing with trauma from incidents that happen outside school grounds or are worried about how to get home safely.

To keep students safe—in our schools and in our communities— we must limit access to guns in the first place by providing universal background checks, banning assault-style weapons, passing red flag laws, and other legislation.

Letters & Testimony

NEA speaks up for the rights of students. Browse recent messages to Congressional leadership, and add your voice.

Bills in Congress

Learn NEA's position on pending legislation related to public education, and take action to protect our schools

Educators Adela Ghadimi
“We need to have Congress act and take action that means something. To actually ensure that we don’t have to keep reliving these nightmares every couple of weeks.”
Quote by: Adela Ghadimi, Graduate Assistant, Florida
We're speaking up for our students and public schools. Visit our Action Center to find out what you can do.

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Becky Pringle at an immigration rally with a bullhorn

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.