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CHICAGO, May 24, 2022 The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in wake of news of another devastating mass shooting that’s taken the lives of at least 14 children and an educator in Uvalde, Texas:

Our hearts are breaking from the crushing losses of another senseless act of violence. We stand in grief and solidarity with the parents, students, educators and community of Uvalde, Texas — and with the families who grieve in cities from Buffalo and Parkland, Florida to El Paso and Charleston, South Carolina, and right here in Chicago. For the teachers at that school who will be there with and for their surviving students, we can only say we know the pain and sorrow you feel, and we are carrying you in our hearts.

We keep being told by our young people that they need more — more help, more support, more nurturing, more guidance, more love. Today’s senseless horror only compounds the trauma that our youth confront. Our nation’s children have lived through two years of a pandemic that has only intensified the challenges they face in a nation that has yet to guarantee families even the most basic rights, like decent health care, affordable day care or living wages.

Our children need committed adults who will at last address the root causes of violence in this nation, recognize violence as the public health crisis it is, confront racism as a contributor to violence, and treat violence in the context of an epidemic of income inequality and chronic economic hardship that has been neglected in many communities for decades. We must do this as we continue the painful and vital national reckoning with racial inequality and white supremacy, in the face of a well-funded right wing extremist movement.

We can do this. And we must do this. Our children must see us take that step forward, see our leaders reject the cynical politics of the present, forgo failed law and order strategies, and instead advance the truly transformative work of naming and ending the root causes of violence.

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.