To commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine mass shooting, teachers, students and public officials staged a “walk-in” at Verde Elementary Friday morning.
California Teachers Association (CTA) President Eric Heins joined West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Matt Duffy, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond and teachers and students in an “Enough is Enough” rally as part of the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools.
The aim was for educators “to send a strong, unified message to politicians urging them to take measures to address safety indefinitely,” according to the CTA.
The before-school event include signs and speeches from both students and adults.
“We stand with our students, and their message is loud and clear, ‘No more guns,'” said Merrill Pierce, a Verde teacher.
Thurmond said laws must be strengthened to “allow us to take guns away from those who represent a threat to our schools and our community.”
“Don’t arm us with more guns, arm us with the resources we need,” Heins said. “Arm us with more counselors. Arm us with librarians. Arm us with up-to-date curriculum. Arm us with more teachers and smaller class sizes.”
In a statement promoting the event, United Teachers of Richmond (UTR) President Demetrio Gonzalez decried the “eight shootings in our community just in the last seven days.
“Three of our students were shot,” Gonzalez said. “Two incidents involved automatic weapons. For us – this is a life and death situation. We say – no more.”