Ending Gun Violence
Students have taken the lead in demanding a strong response to the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 — and the MTA is prepared to support members who participate in actions.
The MTA has prepared legal guidance on student walkouts for members. Local association presidents should confer with their MTA field representatives if they are planning any actions or have questions.
In addition to a big march in Washington, D.C., there are many others in the works.
Millions of students across the country said #Enough on Wednesday, March 14, as they walked out of class, lined school hallways or gathered in gyms and auditoriums to honor the 17 victims shot to death on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — and to demand changes to the nation’s gun laws.
Many planned walkouts at Massachusetts schools were postponed due to school closings in the aftermath of a major winter storm, but students in districts that did hold classes were among the participants who walked out for at least 17 minutes beginning at 10 a.m.
Hundreds of students from the Boston area, where most schools were closed, marched to the State House, where they demanded legislative action against gun violence. “Our generation has chosen to fight. We have chosen to demand action. We will take on the NRA,’’ said one student activist.
The NEA, the AFT, the Network for Public Education and others will be providing more information on actions for that date, the 19th anniversary of the school shooting in Columbine, Colorado.
Message from MTA President
Here is a portion of one message that MTA President Barbara Madeloni sent to members recently about the MTA’s support for the actions being planned:
While individuals may choose to respond to this crisis in different ways, I want you to know that the MTA will support educators who might face consequences for walking out or participating in other direct action or civil disobedience. Individuals are encouraged to think through the potential ramifications of taking action and make a reasoned decision, but know that the MTA will be prepared to support you.
The response from student organizers is inspiring and offers a way beyond the horror to meaningful action. Our work is to listen to students, support their organizing, and not hold them back. Students have so often been the leaders of mass movements that led to real change.