Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 27, 2019)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs:
“According to an article published this week in Education Week, since the start of the new school year, at least seven shootings have occurred in or near high school football stadiums, including in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Any act of violence involving children and youth is intolerable—no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home.
“For years, we have called for action and have said ‘enough is enough.’ Yet, too often, we have been met by ‘thoughts and prayers’ from our elected leaders. Our children and families deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Continuing to do nothing is unacceptable.
“National PTA has taken swift and concrete action to address the safety of our nation’s children. Last week the National PTA Board of Directors added to a long list of many advocacy activities over the years by amending the association’s position statement on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention to reinforce our unwavering call for universal background checks and the adoption of ‘red flag’ laws, among other measures that will decrease gun violence and make our schools and communities safer for everyone.
“I also testified last week before the U.S. House of Representatives Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in support of universal background checks, and our association sent a letter in early September to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to bring the Background Check Expansion bill to the floor and facilitate its passage in the Senate.
“We encourage all families to get involved in our efforts to protect every child. Our association has developed resources for parents on steps they can take to advocate for and ensure schools are safe and supportive places for their children as well as on how to talk to their children about violence.
“For nearly 30 years, National PTA has advocated for common-sense and comprehensive gun safety and violence prevention measures, while preserving the lawful use of firearms for sport and personal protection. It has been and remains a top priority of the association to prevent and eliminate violence in schools, communities and at home; promote safety for children; make sure the needs of the whole child are met and ensure every child reaches their full potential.
“A report released last week found that 2,500 school children died from gun-related injuries in 2017, and for the first time, firearms killed more people than motor vehicle accidents. National PTA demands that Congress and the president act today and put laws in place that address our nation’s gun violence epidemic and protect our children and families.”
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 family engagement 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. For more information, visit PTA.org.