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Organizations representing teachers respond to shooting at school in Newport News

As of Saturday morning, the teacher, who has not yet been identified, remained in critical condition at a local hospital.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Leaders of organizations that represent teachers from the local to the national level have issued statements about the tragic incident at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News in which a 6-year-old who had brought a gun to school shot and critically wounded a teacher.

Newport News Education Association President Dr. James Graves said:

“As President of the Newport News Education Association, I am deeply saddened by the school shooting at Richneck Elementary this afternoon. The NNEA stands with Richneck’s school workers, students, and families in the wake of this traumatic event. The NNEA will continue to advocate for the safety of all NNPS teachers and staff. Violence or threats of violence against staff or teachers must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and protocols should be developed to protect school employees from harm, and to seriously respond to threats of harm. As NNEA President, I am committed to working with school and community leaders to help address gun violence and to help prevent further tragedy.”

Virginia Education Association President Dr. James J. Fedderman said:

“We are shocked and saddened that we must respond to another school shooting here in Virginia. An educator is currently hospitalized in critical condition in Newport News after being shot at Richneck Elementary School, and our thoughts and prayers are with her and the entire Richneck school community. VEA members deplore today’s events, yet another example of senseless violence affecting our public schools.”

National Education Association President Becky Pringle said:

“Classrooms and campuses should be safe havens where students, educators and all in our communities feel welcomed and where learning is celebrated. We send all of our hopes for a full recovery to the educator injured in yet another horrific act of gun violence in our schools. But today we are again discussing the carnage of another school shooting. This will not stop until elected leaders take consequential action and stand up to the gun lobby to prevent gun violence in our communities and school.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said:

“This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the family of the hospitalized educator and the entire Richneck school community. It’s also a preventable tragedy: Guns shouldn’t be in our classrooms, on our campuses or anywhere near our schools. When will the shock of gunshots in school be enough to inspire the action necessary to prevent guns in schools and the shattering of lives it causes?

“Yesterday, we could barely conceive of a 6-year-old with a gun. Today, it’s a reality that has led to a critically injured teacher. We renew our call for meaningful, commonsense steps to reduce the prevalence of guns in our communities, and for basic safety precautions like background checks, safe storage laws and red flag provisions, as well as a ban on assault rifles.”  

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