The Monroe County Federation of Teachers expressed its support for the students around the country who walked out of school on March 14 to honor the victims of the senseless gun violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and to call on our government officials to pass meaningful, common sense legislation that begins to stem the tide of gun violence plaguing our country.
From schools in Brighton to West Irondequoit to the Rochester City School District’s World of Inquiry, students in our region made it clear that enough is enough. No longer will they stand idly by while the adults in our government chambers refuse to put forward legislation aimed at reducing the terror that too often makes its way into our school classrooms.
MCFT hopes that this marks just the beginning of a quest for a public school system where no students must ever fear for their safety. To reach that goal, government officials must create opportunities for conversation with those who both work and learn within those school walls. These conversations must include a commitment to invest in our public schools, particularly in adequate mental health services for students and families. This includes school counselors, psychologists and social workers, who are often among the first to be cut when school budgets get difficult.
MCFT Vice President Michael Modleski said, “This generation of students is too often labeled as apathetic and disengaged from our political process. March 14’s expression of ideas was anything but. I’m inspired by the young people who joined together this morning to raise their collective voice in a courageous call for change. I’m equally moved by the students who remained in the classroom, their expression no less courageous and no less important.” MCFT stands ready to work together with school policymakers and lawmakers of both parties and most importantly, with students, to ensure that we keep our schools and our communities safe.
The Monroe County Federation of Teachers is comprised of representatives of 20-plus K-12 school districts serving Monroe County children and families, Monroe County College, Rochester School for the Deaf and SUNY Brockport.