It’s time to demand our politicians do more than express sorrow and regret when children are gunned down at school
CONCORD, NH – February 15, 2018 – “On behalf of our 17,000 members, I want to express our profound sympathies to the families of those killed in yesterday’s school shooting in Florida” said NEA-NH President, Megan Tuttle.
She continued, “Some news commentators have said the killing of students and school employees is the ‘new normal.’ We cannot allow this to happen. Sadly, if nothing is done to address the issues that lead people to deliberately shoot school children and those who dedicate their lives to educating them, then this will become the ‘new normal’.”
“Our elected officials have the power and the resources to stop this epidemic in its tracks. It is no mystery why these events occur. Unaddressed mental health issues and bullying are only two of the well-known reasons why people turn our schools into places of untold grief and violence. It is time for us to demand our politicians take action to provide services which eliminate these risks.”
“Professions of regret and sympathies, while heartfelt, do not constitute a policy, or program, or take even one step towards a solution to the mass killings in our schools. Enough is enough. If those professions are serious, then so must be the response, otherwise this will keep happening”.
“The time to do something is now, not after the next one, or the next one, or the next one. We’ve had enough of that.”
Tuttle is calling on Governor Sununu and the Legislature to pass and fund legislation that would provide additional mental health resources; fund training at the local level for educators, education employees, and administrators to help identify at-risk students and get them the help they need; and fund long-term security measures in schools. This legislation must include stable and reliable funding and not rely only on state surpluses.
“Sadly, every school must now have an active shooter response plan in place. It’s time for the Governor to initiate meaningful discussions with educators, school employees, administrators, community leaders, and mental health workers on what can be done to prevent such violence in the first place.”
Tuttle concluded, ” We cannot afford to wait until we experience this type of violence here. We cannot listen to the voices that encourage us to postpone finding solutions or engaging in meaningful dialogue to stop these incredible horrors. We must do everything we can now to ensure our children and the people who educate them are safe every day they enter a school. NEA-NH is ready and willing to work with our elected officials to ensure New Hampshire schools are a place where children’s laughs are not drowned out by the sound of gunshots and sirens.”