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US TEACHERS and students have vowed to kick politicians out of office if they refuse to change gun laws and take on the epidemic of violence plaguing the country.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said it was mourning the lives lost at Santa Fe High School, where 10 people were shot dead on Friday in the country’s latest school shooting.
In a joint statement, the 1.7 million-member AFT’s national president Randi Weingarten and David Hogg, a senior from the high school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in February, said it was “shameful that President Trump and those who control Congress continue to choose gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association over children and educators.”
They warned they were “determined to change” those politicians who refuse to change gun laws in November’s mid-term elections.
“Students should be able to go to school without worrying whether they could be shot. Parents shouldn’t have to wonder whether their kids will come home safely every day. And educators shouldn’t have ‘human shield’ or ‘marksman’ in their job description,” they said.
Since the 1999 Columbine massacre more than 187,000 students have been affected by school shootings according to the union, with at least 193 incidents since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
The statement promised to use the union members’ most powerful mechanisms for change: their voice and their vote.
The AFT will join with students to launch a voter registration drive to ensure “that come November, we elect politicians who support public education and ensure schools are safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses.”
Police arrested 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis on Friday in relation to the Santa Fe shootings.
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