NEA PRESIDENT ON GRAND JURY’S FAILURE TO BRING INDICTMENT IN BROWN KILLING
***For sake of children, decision can’t be an end to larger conversation on social justice***
WASHINGTON—A grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., today failed to bring an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson who fatally shot Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American man. The incident set off protests and sparked a national debate on civil rights.
“For the sake of our children and the future generations to come we must not let today’s decision be an end but the beginning of a larger conversation on social justice and fighting intolerance and racial disparities in our society,” said Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association.
From its historic work around Brown v. Board of Education, NEA has a long, rich history of standing up for social justice and equal rights for all. NEA’s more recent efforts have focused on the inequality in communities, like Ferguson, where students of color are disproportionately impacted by issues like a lack of funding, opportunity and access to additional support and services to be successful. The union and its members have dedicated themselves to the rights of all students to learn.
In times of tragedy and uncertainty, schools serve as a place of normalcy for students. In response to the specific needs of educators for resources around the Ferguson shooting, NEA has developed materials to assist educators, parents, and the community as we continue our collective fight for social justice for all.
“The events in Ferguson have inspired millions of Americans across the country to urgently seek answers and demand action. We agree, but the conversation cannot stop now,” added Eskelsen García. “As educators we believe that now is the time to raise awareness and create dialogue about the problem of racial intolerance that so many face every day across our nation. We also believe that this dialogue must happen in our schools and communities, amongst parents, educators, and with our youth.”
To learn more about what NEA is doing to fight inequality in our public schools, visit www.nea.org/equity.
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AFT’s Weingarten and Johnson on the Events in Ferguson, Mo.
WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten and Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson on the St. Louis County (Mo.) grand jury decision in the police shooting death of Michael Brown.
“Tonight, the fact remains that on Aug. 9, an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed. Given that we are a nation of laws, one can only hope that the lack of an indictment isn’t tantamount to any lack of zeal on the part of the prosecutor to do the job he was supposed to do to enable the grand jury to arrive at an impartial and fact-based decision. Having said that, tonight’s decision isn’t the last word in seeking justice for Michael Brown, as the Justice Department is still pursuing its investigation. We echo the calls of the Brown family, clergy and Gov. Nixon for peace, restraint and protection for peaceful protesters.
“This case once again reminds us that there is still much work to be done to achieve racial justice in America. It tells us that our moral compass and legal systems do not always align.
“In moments like these, we should redouble our efforts to ensure all children grow up in safe communities with high-quality neighborhood schools and a local economy rich with jobs—no matter their ZIP code, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten