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National PTA Statement on Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy Shooting

Media Contact

LaWanda Toney, Director of Strategic Communications
(703) 518-1237

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (August 20, 2013)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA® President Otha Thornton:

“National PTA is deeply saddened to hear of a school shooting in Decatur, Georgia yesterday. The Association extends its sympathies to the students and families affected by shooting at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. We commend the swift actions of the facility and police to ensure that all students and teachers are accounted for and safe.”

National PTA has a strong history of advocating for the safety of children in schools, including gun violence prevention. As it relates to this issue, our top 3 gun violence prevention priorities are securing:

  • Universal background checks for the sale and possession of firearms;
  • A ban on non-sporting ammunition in high-capacity magazines; and
  • The reenactment and expansion of an effective federal ban on the sale and possession of military-style assault weapons.

National PTA is hopeful that this incident will persuade the nation—especially parents, teachers, school officials, community leaders, and Congress—to make meaningful changes to protect all children and ensure a safe learning environment. We need to work together to find the most effective ways to ensure that all students have a safe environment in which to thrive and learn.

To assist students, families, schools and PTAs coping with school violence, National PTA has resources available for download at

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. Learn more at