NJEA statement on school shooting in St. Louis, MO

NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty, and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, issued this statement in the wake of today’s tragic school shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri:

“We are still learning the details of the school shooting earlier today in St. Louis, where at least two people have been murdered and several others wounded. What we do know is this: once again, families are grieving unimaginable losses. Once again, surviving students and educators are terrified and traumatized. Once again, a community Is coping with a tragedy that should never have happened. 

“And we are just as certain about this: once again, too many of our elected leaders will refuse to meaningfully address the epidemic of gun violence in our schools and communities. They will make excuses. They will try to change the subject. They will offer platitudes. But they will remain too fearful of the gun lobby to pursue solutions. By their callous cowardice, they have created the conditions that allow these shootings to happen so often

“We stand in sorrowful solidarity with the victims of this crime and with all those who mourn them. And we challenge every politician who plans to offer thoughts and prayers instead to offer real leadership that makes it harder for murderers to obtain and carry the weapons used in these senseless shootings. We challenge them no longer to cower before the gun lobby, but to speak up for students and communities caught up in a preventable epidemic of gun violence.

“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.”