People need more equity and justice, not more cops, to address consequences of joblessness and hopelessness that drive violence.
CHICAGO, July 6—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in response to another devastating weekend of violence and loss in Chicago:
“Our school communities are grieving in the wake of the devastating loss of the children we’re charged with caring for and educating. No family should have to bury a child, and our schools are extended families for cherished children like seven-year-old Natalia Wallace, killed this weekend on the West Side.
“We know that the only way to tackle violence in our communities is by tackling the root causes that drive that violence. As educators, we’re first responders to the needs of our neighborhoods, as beloved former CTU President Karen Lewis wrote three years ago. The prescription to address trauma and violence hasn’t changed since Karen wrote those words in March 2017: public investment in the schools and communities that continue to suffer from generations of disinvestment and neglect.
“Today, these tragic circumstances are compounded by unprecedented public health and economic challenges that are exacerbating the deep-rooted inequities of our city and public education system. Now is the time for all stakeholders to come together with one clear goal: to keep ALL families and children safe in Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union and its members stand ready to work with stakeholders across our city to find solutions that immediately shift resources away from policing and incarceration and to other services like education, counseling, housing, and accessible healthcare that provide holistic safety for our children. They deserve nothing less—and we owe them that and more.”