Before the National Rifle Association press conference today with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who claimed having armed cops in schools would end gun violence in schools, AFT President Randi Weingarten and the National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel released a statement to proposals to arm teachers from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).
"Our duty to every child is to provide safe and secure public schools. That is the vow we take as educators. It is both astounding and disturbing that following this tragedy, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, Bill Bennett, and other politicians and pundits have taken to the airwaves to call for arming our teachers. As the rest of the country debates how to keep guns out of schools, some are actually proposing bringing more guns in, turning our educators into objects of fear and increasing the danger in our schools.
"Guns have no place in our schools. Period. We must do everything we can to reduce the possibility of any gunfire in schools, and concentrate on ways to keep all guns off school property and ensure the safety of children and school employees."
It was Ronald Reagan who once said, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”
What is right and necessary for the nation now is to continue to teach tolerance to our children who live in an ever changing and diverse society. An armed security guard is no match for a community that works to accept everyone and gives them purpose.
AFSA stands behind its plea to the president to create a National Task Force on School Safety, so that we may join together to examine best practices and help school leaders to continue to open their doors to all across the country each day.