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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 - November 24, 2014 -

A grand jury in St. Louis Co., 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

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, (202) 270-5333 cell,


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