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AFT-Maryland Statement on the School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

We are devastated and heartbroken to issue yet another statement following another mass shooting taking the lives of students and teachers in a school. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this horrific tragedy. But we are also weary of the helpless feeling that comes with not being able to cease these incidents. When we call on common sense gun legislation, it is not to politicize tragedy, it is an effort to save our children, our teachers, elders at grocery stores, parishioners at their place of worship, and frankly any of us, anywhere we may be. 

The solution will not only be new gun control legislation, though we echo and support those efforts. The solution will be as Dr. King called it, a radical revolution of values. It is not lost on us that this statement comes on the two year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Far too often, society chooses violence as a resolution to conflict. The pervasive violence of war, police violence against citizens, and intra-communal violence locally all demonstrate that time and again, Americans choose violence as the answer. Laws may mitigate the harm, but our country needs to address the implied societal belief that violence is the best answer. 

We join with Texas and the entire country in mourning the lives of these schoolchildren and their teachers. We are sad knowing the trauma that surviving students, educational professionals, parents, families, and the community will live with from this incident. We agree with the honest but bleak analysis of AFT President Randi Weingarten when she says, “only in America do people go grocery shopping and get mowed down by a shooter with hate in his heart; only in this country are parents not assured that their kids will be safe at school.” Yesterday was Texas, tomorrow may be Maryland. This will only stop when our collective society says violence is not the answer, when we pass laws that reflect that belief, and when we live in a way that reinforces and confirms that belief. As we offer our thoughts and prayers, may we also dig deep and find the determination and strength to do what must be done to bring about change. Otherwise, everything else becomes empty rhetoric that feels meaningless in the face of tragedy.

Kenya Campbell, President






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