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NEA partners with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to “Demand A Plan!”

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NEA is working with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to help stop more tragedies from occurring. It is clear from the National Rifle Association’s press conference yesterday in which NRA called for more guns in America that every American needs to pressure lawmakers to develop a plan. In honor of every educator who has put themselves between a bullet and their students and in honor of every young life that has been tragically lost, we urge you to take action and Demand A Plan.

After the NRA press conference yesterday, math teacher and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said:

Our duty to every child in our care is to provide safe and secure public schools. That is the vow we take as educators.  It is shocking that following this tragedy, the National Rifle Association has called for more guns in our schools and avoided talking about commonsense measures to prevent guns from getting in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place.  Their delusional assumption that everything other than guns contribute to these tragedies reflects just how out of touch the NRA has become.  Their proposal misses the fact that in many schools across the country, we have school resource officers and yet tragic incidents like Newtown, Chardon, Columbine, Paducah, and Jonesboro still have occurred.

The solution to this problem requires a two-pronged approach:  real preventative measures and commonsense gun legislation.  We must dramatically expand our investment in mental health services. Proper diagnosis can and often starts in our schools, yet we continue to cut funding for school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists. States have cut at least $4.35 billion in public mental health spending from 2009 to 2012, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. It is well past time to reverse this trend and ensure that these services are available and accessible to those who need our support.  We must also continue to do more to prevent bullying in our schools, an epidemic that can often precede violence.

Greater access to mental health services, bullying prevention, and meaningful action on gun control—this is where we need to focus our efforts, not on staggeringly misguided ideas about filling our schools with firearms. Lawmakers at every level of government should dismiss this dangerous idea and instead focus on measures that will create the safe and supportive learning environments our children deserve.

Visit DemandAPlan.org today to sign the petition and stand up against gun violence.

Reader Comments

  1. Rebecca Walden

    I am a teacher, an N.E.A. member, and an N.R.A. member. I do not agree with the President’s policys on gun restrictions, and resent that he is pushing new legislation under the pretense of school safety. His 23 executive proposals are designed to track firearm owners and the mentally ill, and to restrict access to unspecified kinds of “assault” weapons. His proposals do nothing to enhance school safety. I do not appreciate the fact that the N.E.A. is using my union dues to support Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization formed to deal with city crime, not school safety. I respectfully request that you stop focusing on issues that have little to do with education, and get back to representing the teachers who pay your salaries.

    Reply
  2. Mike

    Get real. More laws obviously won’t work. Those intent on breaking laws won’t suddenly decide to become peaceful law-abiding citizens after the passage of what you term “commonsense gun legislation” – whatever that actually means. If we sacrifice freedom for security, we will lose both in the end. I’ve been a teacher for 16 years, served as a local president and chief negotiator and even put in a stint as the statewide treasurer for our PAC. My union has no business wading in to gun control.

    Reply
  3. LeonC

    I am an educator of 30 years that feels our state has not done enough to improve security in our schools. Columbine was our wakeup call. That tragedy occurred during the years of the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban. Laws never apply to the lawless. Drunk drivers will always drive drunk and madmen will always do crazy things. We should guard our children better and make our schools safer. I do not know how but passing laws that are unconstitutional and infringe on the civil rights of millions are not the answer.

    Reply
  4. Jan

    When a drunk driver kills someone we do not blame the car, so when someone is killed by a gun we should not blame the gun. If we are going to get rid of guns we then must get rid of cars. Chicago has gun control and they had 500 murders last year and already 5 as of the 4th of January. The FBI says there are more murders by bludgening, hammers, knives than there are by guns. We need more help with mental health issues and teaching (as parents) that just because I want something I should have it or be allowed to do it is not a right that we are born with.

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  5. Betty

    I agree that there may need to be more done in the schools for children deemed “at risk” and I also think there needs to be more focus on respect, caring for one another, and talking openly, without fear of rejection, at all levels in the schools. If that means more services and more money, fine, but that may just mean taking the time to teach and resond to everyday situations, which is the big roadblock I find.
    When speaking of gun legislature, the problem is gun control is like drug control and no matter what measures are taken, there is no way to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of the wrong people. If you think there is a way you are delusional. The NRA is correct in saying that the best way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, in which they should add, a well trained good person with a gun. The reason we don’t hear about mass shooting when an armed civilian intervenes is because the gun man/woman is stopped before 4 or more people are killed, so it doesn’t count as a mass shooting. When a call goes out to the police for help it takes minutes to respond, even in the best case senario, a person on scene could, if well trained and prepared, have the situation stopped before the police could even arrive, which could mean the difference between a shooting and a mass shooting. This would definitely take training, well thought out safety guidelines, and well layed response plans.
    I do not believe, and I don’t think others really truely believe, that guns cause these tragedies. If there weren’t guns these people would still find ways to cause mass destruction. Most of us will never understand what the people who do these things were/are thinking and it is often only in hindsight that we could see “the signs”. We can increase money in schools, improve all the services we have, and get stricter with guns, but until everyone learns to love their neighbors unconditionally and feel free to talk to each other openly, without the fear of retaliation/rejection/disappointment, there will continue to be those who feel the need to cause destruction, no matter their choice of “weapon”.

    Reply
  6. Pat Burris

    Why have so many guilty people that’s been in prison/jail been released? I think that’s the big question…It’s so sad, if they were still in jail/prison lots of inocent people through the U.S. would still be alive.

    If they go to prison/jail for killing others,,,then why would they ever be released and then given a gun/weapon of anykind…Lets get that problem fixed first…

    Reply
  7. Diane

    Nothing like showing your ignorance, John. I was a high school Guidance Counselor for 33 years and there is no stress like that job. I can give you some excellent mental health referrals to help you deal with your anger and bitterness.

    Reply
  8. John Fenton

    You think giving more money to the already worthless school psychiatrist and so call counselors will help. Have you even seen them they are the laziest part pf the school system. They collect a paycheck not earn one. Now for guns in schools. I say yes a bad idea. Need more metal detectors and perhaps long range tazers. A non lethal approach.
    As for more laws on gun control will not help anyone but the criminals . The law abiding people are safer from having their weapons. I bet no one even thought about non lethal longe range tazers. Even pepper ball cs filled airguns will do the trick. Yes they do work I have seen them in action..

    Reply
    • Christian Rewoldt

      I second that ignorance. Their are no “School Psychiatrists.” Thus we get to the real problem with education today-too many people talking that have no idea what they are talking about.

      Reply

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