Baltimore, MD- AFT-Maryland President, and educator Kenya Campbell issued this statement in the wake of another tragic act of violence claiming the life of an Edmonson/Westside High School student.
My heart aches every time I hear about another one of our precious students losing their life to gun violence nearby their school. School should be a place free from the fear, anxiety, anguish, and trauma that plagues too many of our neighborhoods. Sadly, and too often, those things make their way into the school affecting the lives of the students, faculty, and staff. I echo Mayor Brandon Scott’s dismay at how easy it is for young people to access weapons of death and I’m even more frustrated and sad to know so many youth in Baltimore city chose fatal options to resolve petty disputes.
On behalf of the entire state federation, including our members in the Baltimore Teachers Union, I offer sincere condolences to the family of the student who died following the tragic shooting and my thoughts are with all the victims. I wish everyone a full and speedy recovery. I ask the public to also hold space for the faculty and staff that work with those students. Each day, education professionals go into schools across the city, working to make a positive impact on young people’s lives. When tragedy like this strikes, it is impossible to move along as if everything is normal.
Our students, faculty, and staff deserve safe spaces to learn and grow. Our young people, including our teenagers, deserve to be children. We must all work together to prevent another student from being the perpetrator or victim of violent crime. Our city deserves the security of children going to school and coming home safely.