As the voice of teachers and education support personnel worldwide, we stand in solidarity with the students, teachers, school staff, parents and allies as they courageously lift their voices and take action to demand a quality education for all in schools that are free from gun violence.
Educators across the world are inspired and moved by the hundreds of thousands who are marching in the United States to enact gun control measures. We are encouraged by their demand that education institutions be safe sanctuaries in which all students have an equal opportunity to reach their highest potential.
As advocates and representatives of the teaching profession worldwide we emphatically and unequivocally reject the notion of carrying weapons in our classrooms and schools. This goes against our professional ethics and our very core as educators.
"As educators we dedicate our lives to teaching, inspiring and mentoring", said General Secretary of Education International David Edwards, "carrying weapons to kill is contrary to the purpose of our profession."
We affirm that schools should be respected as communities of learning, creativity and discovery. Classrooms full of students are no place for loaded guns. Not now, not ever. As educators our role is to teach, inspire and open minds. Our role is to foster learning in an environment of belonging, thoughtfulness and growth.
In representation of 32 million educators worldwide, therefore:
We stand with the EI affiliates in the US, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers who are advocating alongside their students for legislative change to make schools safe from gun violence;
We call on our affiliates, on education unions and their members to conduct forums, events and assemblies with their students to discuss what a safe school looks like in their community and how they can organise together for change.