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MEA President: We Must Force Policymakers to Act

Feb 21, 2018

PARKLAND, FL—FEBRUARY 14: People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school that killed and injured multiple people. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The bravery of school employees in one tragic school shooting after another is beyond measure, MEA President Paula Herbart points out in today’s Detroit News. Educators consistently think more about protecting students than the well-being of their own children at home, Herbart writes in her monthly “Labor Voices” column

“Blocking doorways with their bodies, hiding children in closets, and serving as human shields to take bullets for their students.

“Why, in the greatest country on earth, is any of this necessary?

“Reasonable gun laws. Better access to mental health care. More school counselors and social workers to help students deal with issues they’re facing both at school and at home. More safety officers and security for schools. All these things need to be part of a comprehensive, common sense solution.

“To get real solutions to end these massacres, we must force policymakers to act. On the heels of every mass shooting — from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Orlando’s Pulse nightclub to the Las Vegas strip — there’s a temporary hue and cry to act. And then, our attention is pulled elsewhere.

“Not this time. Our children can’t afford us to be distracted from our most important responsibility: keeping them safe.