Feb. 21, 2018

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UUP joins AFT in condemning, ending gun violence

uupdate 2-21-18

Click HERE to read the AFT resolution: "Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety"

UUP President Fred Kowal and AFT’s Executive Council took on the gun lobby and the issue of gun control by approving a strong measure that denounces gun violence and demands swift action to protect students, teachers, and America’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

In the Feb. 21 resolution, AFT said it will “recommit ourselves to common sense measures” to stop gun violence in schools, colleges and universities, including speaking out against “wrong-headed and counterproductive” measures like giving guns to teachers and school staff.

The Executive Council said AFT would support and encourage the efforts of survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—as well as survivors of shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School and other places—in their quest to end gun violence in America.

The AFT Executive Council includes AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT Secretary Treasurer Lorretta Johnson, AFT Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker and 43 AFT vice presidents—including Kowal, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, and PSC-CUNY President Barbara Bowen.

Gun violence must end

“Enough is enough,” said Kowal. “These heinous acts of violence against our students and educators must end now. And if those in office now refuse to take action, then we will send them an unmistakable message in November.”

“Today, our union rededicated ourselves to doing everything we can to protect kids and educators and prevent gun violence in our schools,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We support every action being organized. We will be with you in the streets, in our statehouses, in Washington and at the ballot box. We are coming together with those who learn in, teach in, send their kids to and care about public schools, to take a stand.”

In the measure, the AFT vowed to:

      • Fight to expand mental health care for all, defend and fund the Affordable Care Act, and staff every American school with qualified mental health counselors;
      • Be a “conduit for listening to members and students,” and convene an activist committee to recommend ways AFT affiliates can use lawful strikes and other actions to end gun violence in all schools;
      • Look for ways to break the hold the NRA and gun makers have on lawmakers and the legislative system; and
      • Support students and gun violence survivors in other ways, including signing them up to vote and helping them with engagement and mobilization efforts.

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