AACTE Statement on School Shooting in Parkland, Florida
(February 23, 2018, Washington, D.C.) – Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), today issued the following statement regarding the school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, a week ago and the nation-wide conversations that have occurred since the incident:
“AACTE would like to express its deepest sympathy for the teachers, students, parents and community of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who mourn the loss of family and friends victimized by the school shooting on February 14, 2018. Schools are the nuclei of local communities and the preparatory grounds where future leaders are educated and shaped to inform and engage in our democracy. Preserving the safety and sanctity of the classroom is critical for teachers and students to effectively build trust, respect and care in order for all children to learn.
Teachers are prepared to create safe learning communities for their students, in an environment where criminal acts of violence are intolerable, and to follow protocols and policies set forth by school districts for crisis management. When circumstances call for expertise beyond their scope, teachers know how and where to access available resources, including collaborating with local law enforcement to mitigate unlawful activity in schools. Additionally, teachers are relied upon to aid the recovery in the wake of disasters, and teacher preparation programs incorporate trauma-informed instruction as part of their curricula. Yet there is no adequate education or training to prepare teachers to sacrifice their lives to protect students. Teachers who are willing to give up their life for another human being are simply heroes.
AACTE strongly condemns the act of violence and mourns the deaths that took place in Parkland, Florida, and commends the several teacher heroes who rose up on that horrific day, as well as those who remain to work with their students in the aftermath of the attack. AACTE will continue to advocate for the preservation of safe learning environments for every child and educator in cooperation with local authorities who are specifically trained to protect and serve our communities.”