For Immediate Release

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Shut Out, Again: AFT’s Weingarten on DeVos School Safety Commission

WASHINGTON - American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the first meeting of the Betsy DeVos-led school safety commission:

“Teachers and parents have gotten pretty used to Education Secretary DeVos shutting us out and refusing to listen to those closest to our students, so it’s no surprise we weren’t invited to or consulted before the first meeting of her commission on how to make schools safer. 

“After all, what do we know? We’re just the people who educate in, learn in and send their kids to public schools.

“Just this month, on March 14 and March 24, millions made clear the need for real action to make America’s public schools the safe sanctuaries for teaching and learning that our students deserve. Repeatedly, the students asked for their teachers to be armed with resources and wraparound services, not guns and ammunition.

“We hope the secretary stops ignoring us, stops locking us out, and decides for once in her life to listen to people with whom she may disagree. That’s the oath of office she took. 

 “In the meantime, teachers, students, parents and communities will continue to use their voices to advocate for what’s needed and, if that doesn’t happen, will use their voices at the polls to hold elected officials accountable for real progress on valuing children more than guns.”


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The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.6 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.

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