CHICAGO, October 16, 2021The Chicago Teachers Union mourns the loss of Michele Clark Magnet High School student and basketball star Kierra Moore and issued the following statement today:

Nothing is as devastating as the death of a young person. Our union mourns for Kierra Moore, and grieves with her family and the entire Clark Magnet school community. Like Phillips, Simeon and far too many other schools in our district, the Clark family must now contend both with the grief of their loss and the reality of a community without support.

We need an end to the violence, which requires tackling root causes and providing support that lifts communities; and when tragedy strikes, allows these communities to heal. Our teachers, social workers, clinicians, clerks and other educators do everything possible to support and nurture their students, but it is often not enough. We have school buildings in which every student and every staff member is traumatized. They don’t have a chance. It’s difficult to watch, and even more difficult to feel as if there is nothing more to offer.

Chicago’s communities need love, healing and a commitment to preserving the lives of our children. School communities need social workers, grief counseling and restorative justice support. This can no longer be a request, but a demand of the leadership of our city. Educators are suffering without the resources to care appropriately for their students, and that feeling of helplessness must be replaced with hope if we are to reverse the deadly course that is killing our children.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.