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Educators call for safer schools after Reynolds shooting

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Reynolds School District Superintendent Linda Florence called Tuesday's shooting 'a tragic day' that she hoped would never come for her schools. Educators across the state called for safer schools in the wake of the high school shooting that killed a student and wounded a teacher.State and national teacher unions called for changes to make schools safer in the wake of Tuesday morning's shooting at Reynolds High School, where one student and the shooter died and a teacher was wounded.

Several hours after the shooting, Oregon Education Association Vice President Tony Crawford released the following statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Reynolds educators, students and their families. In the face of this tragedy, Reynolds staff have shown our community and the entire nation what it means to be an educator. We have seen the uncommon courage and selflessness of the teachers and staff and our community is truly blessed to have such devoted educators. We want to show our solidarity and support in this difficult time. We vow to work together to forge an alliance with families and communities to keep our schools safe, secure and welcome to everyone.

“As educators, our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. Our focus now at the Oregon Education Association is on supporting the educators, students and their families in the Reynolds community today and in the future. We all have a responsibility to create safe schools and communities. As a state and a country, we can and must do more to ensure that everyone who walks through our school doors — educator, student, parent or community member — is safe and free from violence.”

And Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Reynolds High School community today, and especially with the family who lost their child. We don’t yet know why the gunman acted. But we do know that a child has been robbed of a full life. We do know that a school and a community are grieving over the loss of one of their own and the sense of security that was violated today.

“This is the 74th school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. This is the 74th time the safety of a school community has been shattered by a gunman. This is the 74th time students, educators and school staff have felt the terror of not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again. This is the 74th time that parents have experienced the fear of not knowing what is happening to their children.

“It is long past time for action. We renew our call for leaders to act in the interest of our children and families to ensure that our schools are safe sanctuaries. We must pass sensible reforms that can help prevent our children, and those who teach and nurture them, from being gunned down. And we will work with our affiliate and the entire Reynolds High School community to help them heal and to restore a sense of safety and security.”