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Enough is Enough: Thousands of Teachers Join Students in March to End Gun Violence
Hundreds of CEA Members were among the thousands at the State Capitol today for the March For Our Lives
March 24, 2018
Chanting "enough is enough" and "we want gun control now," students, teachers, parents, and community members
marched from the Corning Fountain in Bushnell Park to the steps of the State Capitol for the March For Our Lives
Rally. The Hartford rally was just one of nearly a dozen similar demonstrations held across the state, and among
hundreds held around the country, organized by students and their supporters calling for an end to the gun
violence plaguing our nation's schools.
"A change is coming and it starts right now, led by students like me. Our young voices will be heard," said
rally organizer Tyler Suarez. A freshman at the University of Bridgeport, Suarez has dedicated his life to
school safety after his aunt, Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School was killed.
"Educators stand in solidarity with our precious and powerful students and we stand with you in saying 'enough
is enough,'" CEA President Sheila Cohen told the crowd of more than 15,000.
CEA President Sheila Cohen.
Cohen was among the many speakers who took to the stage, including students, politicians, local leaders, and
others calling on Congress to take action to keep our schools safe and end this epidemic of mass school
shootings plaguing and terrorizing our country.
"This is an issue that affects every single one of us. There must never be another single teacher,
administrator, coach, custodian, bus driver, cafeteria worker, administrative assistant, any school personnel
whose obituary reads, 'remembered for giving his or her life in the line of duty.' That's B.S," said Cohen.
Teachers showed their support for their students, many with signs that read: I stand with my students.
"As a teacher, I want to do anything I can to support the civic awakening of students and that is happening here
in Hartford, and it is where I needed to be," said Greenwich Education Association President Carol Sutton.
Sutton, who made the long drive from Greenwich, was joined by thousands of her colleagues, many of whom rode
CEA-sponsored buses into Hartford and carried homemade signs, to unite with their students in calling for safe
Greenwich Education Association President Carol Sutton.
"We are so proud of our students for their activism. This generation has to run with this because adults have
been unsuccessful so far," said Sutton.
The March for Our Lives Rallies are part of the nationwide anti-school violence movement that began after the
latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and
teachers dead. The movement is drawing attention to the need to
Westport teacher Kerstin Rao stood under a makeshift desk to represent all the scared children and all those
lost to gun violence.
Ensure schools are safe learning environments
Urge Congress to pass strict gun and school safety laws similar to the tough laws Connecticut passed after
the Sandy Hook shooting
Provide funding for school resources and mental health services
Connecticut, which already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, could see additional changes if the
legislature approves two bills currently before them. The bills would further improve school security and
address aggressive student behavior.
Westport teacher Kerstin Rao attended the rally standing under a makeshift desk, to represent all the scared
children and all those lost to gun violence.
"The desk represents every parent's worst nightmare and every teacher's heartbreak. I am standing under the desk
symbolizing a lock down drill. We have a culture of anxiety, fear, and complacency with the NRA and it is time
CREC English language teacher Marilyn Tucker attended the rally with her 16-year-old daughter Christa to help
her see what democracy is all about and to "get a taste of activism."
"I loved it," said the Rocky Hill High School student. "Things need to change and we all need to get involved to
make sure this doesn't happen again."
CREC English Language teacher Marilyn Tucker with her daughter Christa, a Rocky Hill High School student.
Teachers Shelby and Rob Irwin brought their two daughters to the rally.
"We all need to come together, as a community and voice our opinions. It's really good to see our youth speaking
up," they said. "We care about our students and they need to be able to go to school without fear."
Teachers Shelby (far left) and Rob (far right) Irwin with their family and friends.
Their 14-year-old daughter, Indigo, a Hamden freshman said school shootings are very real to her. "Someone can
come into my school with a gun, and I am very afraid it will happen." She says it's important for adults to pay
attention and listen to student concerns.
Manchester teacher Laurel Botting attended the rally with her two children. She says she never wants to choose
between protecting her students or her children's mom.
Manchester teacher Laurel Botting with her daughter.
"I teach because I love kids, and I don't want to see them hurt, shot, or die." Botting, whose 7-year-old
daughter is in a wheelchair, said "I don't want to worry about whether my daughter can run away, because she
Manchester teachers Joanie Corwin, Martha DiGiovanni, Corrine Colman, and Colleen Litwin became active in social
justice issues after attending last year's Women's March. They said part of being a teacher is getting involved
and speaking up for their students.
Former Trumbull para professional Jane Tipler said her school's close proximity to Newtown really impacted the
students and teachers in her community. Tipler, who is originally from the United Kingdom, said the U.S. needs
stricter gun control laws. "We don't have access to guns in the UK and don't have these types of problems."
"We have to stand up for our students," said Southington Education Association President Dan Hart, who attended
the rally with his wife, Susan, a retired math teacher. They said the rally sends a message to lawmakers. "It
shows them what the people want and they must act by eliminating bump stocks and large magazines and take other
actions that will keep our students and our schools safe."
Manchester teachers Joanie Corwin, Martha DiGiovanni, Corrine Colman, and Colleen Litwin.
"Congress must take action to protect all students in every school in America," urged Cohen.
Trumbull teacher Nicole Caruso.
Trumbull High School teacher Nicole Caruso Garcia said as a nation, we can no longer overlook all the violence.
"I am hopeful for the future. The students in Parkland and here in Hartford are so inspirational. They are
getting things done and more action is needed. I encourage them all to vote."
CEA sponsored one of the many voter registration tables at the rally to encourage students who will turn 18
years of age by the November election to register to vote. CEA is also working with the Connecticut Registrar of
Voters to hold voter registration drives in schools across the state, encouraging students to participate in
this important democratic right.
Senator Richard Blumenthal had a warning for his Congressional colleagues who stand with the NRA. "There will be
consequences this November and in 2020, because young people will vote, hold you accountable, and kick you out
Oklahoma educators, support professionals, parents, students, and community members have been
PACKING the Oklahoma State Capitol this week to speak up on behalf of Oklahoma's children! Can you support
them by buying them lunch?
Teachers from Avon, Bloomfield, Cheshire, Clinton, Cornwall, Coventry, East Hartford, Killingly,
Manchester, Mansfield, Newington, Norwich, Tolland, Trumbull, and Waterbury—as well as retired educators
from around the state—participated in the student-led March for Our Lives ast the nation's capital.
Chanting "enough is enough" and "we want gun control now," students, teachers, parents, and
community members marched from the Corning Fountain in Bushnell Park to the steps of the State Capitol for
the March For Our Lives Rally.
As surprising as it may sound, students biting, kicking, throwing furniture, and hurting other
students and teachers has become common in schools across Connecticut, CEA Program Development Specialist
Robyn Kaplan-Cho told WTIC's Ray Dunaway during an appearance on his radio show.
Although it was after ten o'clock last night by the time the legislature' Education Committee heard
public testimony on a bill to help ensure classroom safety and address student assaults, CEA members and
staff made sure they were present to testify so that legislators could hear their stories.
Teachers and school staff in Amity, Darien, East Haddam, Marlborough, Manchester, Stamford, West
Hartford, and elsewhere throughout the state gathered in their schools' parking lots and snowy courtyards in
a show of support and solidarity for communities ravaged by school gun violence.
Its a busy day at the legislatures Education Committee, with senate and house members hearing from
the public on bills that cover a range of topics from remedial reading instruction to virtual learning to
Education Savings Accounts.
The Oklahoma Education Association announced on Tuesday night that schools would shut down across
the state if the state legislature does not pass a $10,000 pay raise for teachers and increased funding for
schools by April 23.
Thank you to all of you who sent messages of support to our West Virginia colleagues. They have
stood in solidarity and made their voices heard to demand recognition of their professionalism and
In one of the city's largest public forums—with a crowd of over 200—more than 60
Shelton teachers shared their concerns and ideas regarding school safety with colleagues, administrators,
and community members.
Raising the state sales and gas taxes, eliminating the estate and gift taxes, selectively raising
business taxes, eliminating collective bargaining for state workers, and reforming the Teachers' Retirement
System are just a few of the recommendations released today by the Commission on Fiscal Stability and
CEA leaders were joined by labor leaders from across the state and legislators in speaking out to
protect the rights and freedom of workers to negotiate together and fight for decent and equitable pay,
affordable health care, quality schools, and vibrant communities.
February 26 marked the kick off of the Connecticut Education Foundation's 2018 Read Across America
Reading Bus Tour, featuring a 38-foot bus decorated with characters from popular Dr. Seuss books and
outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and 3,000 donated books.
CEA joined with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the Connecticut
Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) in a press conference at East Hartford High School
demanding meaningful legislative action on school safety.
The State Board of Education today listened to teachers' concerns about fairness in education
funding and responded by rejecting increases in enrollment for three charter schools that would have cost
the state $627,000.
Though his opening address to the 2018 General Assembly emphasized Connecticut's tradition of
fairness and the state's future generations, the governor's new budget proposal delivers mixed news for
Connecticut students, teachers, and schools.
While Governor Malloy's message in his address to the General Assembly emphasized Connecticut's
tradition of fairness and concern for future generations, his budget proposal is anything but fair for
Connecticut's students and public schools.
Kim Sweeney is the winner of a nine-day NEA Adventures prize package summer vacation to Costa Rica.
The trip—the grand prize in CEA Member Benefits' first-ever "Explore & Score" eight-week
sweepstakes—includes meals, hotel accommodations, and tours of a cloud forest, hot springs, and
A change to the retired teachers' health insurance program that was adopted by the State Teachers'
Retirement Board (TRB) this month will impact retired teachers and spouses who are on—or will soon be
on&mdsah;the TRB's Medicare supplement (65 and older) plan.
Public officials are elected to represent the interests of local residents, but members of the
Stratford Board of Education abdicated their responsibility to town residents by shutting them out of a
State Supreme Court ruling in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v.
Rell delivered a mixed verdict—bad for school funding, while rejecting the lower court's attempt to
create burdensome schemes for testing, teacher evaluation, and education policy.