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NEA Calls for Action in the Wake of Latest School Shooting

Lily Eskelsen García: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

WASHINGTON - November 15, 2017 -

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement in reaction to yesterday’s shooting in Northern California, which targeted students and educators at Rancho Tehama Elementary School:

“We pray for the victims of this latest tragedy in Tehama County, California, and the schoolchildren and adults shot by another out-of-control man who could spray bullets through a classroom and down the street with a rapid-fire weapon. We’re grateful to the educators who heroically protected their students in this rural school, the heroes in a Texas church, and those at a Las Vegas concert. But heroes can’t prevent the next tragedy. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Act to keep dangerous weapons away from dangerous people.”

NEA maintains a crisis resource page for students, educators, parents, and communities at On our Safe Schools page, you can find advice for talking to students about violent tragedies, as well as tips for preventing school violence. You may also download NEA’s School Crisis Guide, which NEA assembled to foster the creation of crisis teams with the ideas, tips, tools, and resources that spur effective leadership and crisis management. Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe—before, during and after a crisis. The NEA School Crisis Guide can be found here.


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

CONTACT: Richard Allen Smith  202-716-6461,