Open Letter in Support of School Walkouts to Protest Gun Violence

This is just a short reminder to take a moment to read and then sign this open letter in support of administrators, teachers, and students in California who wish to participate in the national school walkouts to protest gun violence.

This letter will be submitted by a group of faculty in the CEJ (Center for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands in the School of Education) to the California Department of Education in response to the recent call for several National School Walkouts. All university-based researchers (including faculty, researchers, and administrators) throughout California are invited to sign their names in support of this letter.
Listed on the letter will be each signer’s Name, Title, and College/University/Affiliation.

To sign, please click below and submit information in the form fields below the letter by March 9, 2018.

The following letter was co-authored by the following faculty in the School of Education (SOE) in the Center for Educational Justice (CEJ) at the University of Redlands: Brian Charest, Ph.D., Mikela Bjork, Ph.D., and Nicol Howard, Ph.D.

Dear California State Board of Education President, Dr. Michael Krist, State Board Colleagues, and California School Principals, Teachers, and Administrators:
Last week, 17 students were shot and killed at a Florida high school by a former member of the school’s JROTC program. The shooter, who expressed white supremacist views online (footnotes listed parenthetically – 1), was trained to shoot lethal weapons by the Army on his high school campus (2). Teachers, students, parents, and allies have had enough. Students are standing up. Teachers and parents are supporting them.

As university and teacher educators (including faculty, researchers, and administrators), we strongly urge you to publicly support all principals, teachers, and students in our California schools and universities, who wish to participate in the upcoming National School Walkouts to protest gun violence (the first of which is scheduled for 17 minutes—one minute for each victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting on March 14).

Other walkouts are scheduled on March 24, and April 20, and additional walkouts may occur. We believe educators and students should have your support to participate in these actions. Current gun regulations do not reflect current research or knowledge on gun violence prevention, nor do they reflect public opinion on gun safety. (3)

Our schools, for better or for worse, reflect our priorities as a society and should be spaces where students and teachers discuss what those priorities should be. We believe that any discussion about solving the problem of gun violence must be a conversation about public safety and must also address root causes of this violence, such as the culture of violence in the US that equates masculinity with guns, (4) bullying in schools and on campuses, violence against women, the increase in militarism in schools that serve our most vulnerable youth (e.g, ROTC programs, military-run schools, junior police academies, etc.) (5) (6), state sanctioned violence through policing, and racism that blinds us to the effects of gun violence in poor communities of color. (7) (8)

We believe that the National School Walkouts are the first step toward a public conversation about these root causes, one that can help lead to the enactment of a public safety plan to reduce gun violence in the US. Such a plan would emerge from what we currently know about gun safety and gun violence prevention.(9) Such a plan would also align with the views of a majority of Americans (10) who believe in things like background checks for all gun buyers (93%), a ban on the sale of guns to anyone convicted of a violent crime (88%), and for waiting periods for all gun purchases (72%).

We urge you to take this moment to voice your support for public engagement in the gun safety debate and for students and teachers who seek to pressure lawmakers to enact effective gun safety legislation. Doing so would not only encourage teachers in California to teach about the power of civic engagement, but also provide an opportunity for students to see firsthand the importance of civic action in a democracy. Democracies require citizen participation, and it is through a combination of careful study and debate combined with civic action that citizens shape their world for the better.

We, the undersigned, believe in the need to address the root causes of gun violence and for new laws to promote public safety to end the epidemic of gun violence in the US; we support the right of principals, teachers, and students to participate in the National School Walkout.
#NationalSchoolWalkout #GunReformNow #StudentsStandUp #ArmMeWith #NeverAgain



As of February 28, 2018, the following education scholars and advocates have signed in support of this open letter (Names are listed in alphabetical order):

Al Schademan, Professor, CSU Chico
Amanda Taylor, Administrative Support Assistant, CSU, Chico
Angel Valenci, Lecturer and Supervisor for Student Teachers, CSU, East Bay
Anita Bright, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Ann Berlak, Dr., San Francisco State, retired
Ann Blankenship Knox, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Ann Schulte, Professor, California State University, Chico
Annie S. Adamian, Assistant Professor, Calfornia State University, Chico
Antonia Darder, Leavey Endowed Chair of Ethics & Moral Leadership, Loyola Marymont University
Betty Y Lin, Adjunct Professor of Early Childhood Education, Mills College School of Education
Bic Kolcum, Clinical Director Orchard Mountain Recovery, Not affiliated
Brian Charest, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Charles L Jagoda, Homeless/Housing Advocate None at this time
Christine Sleeter , Professor Emerita, California State University Monterey Bay
Cindy Cruz, Associate Professor ,UC Santa Cruz
Cristian Aquino-Sterling, Ph.D., Associate Professor, San Diego State University
Dan Kenley Retired High School Principal Prescott College
Deborah Durham, Supervisor for Student Teachers, CSU Chico
Debra Neill, Lecturer, Arizona State University
Dorothy Wall, Assistant Professor, California State University, Chico
Dr. Julie Jones, Director of Student Teaching , Converse College
Dr. Maris Thompson, Associate Professor of Education, California State University, Chico
Eduardo Lopez, Faculty Advisors, UCLA
Elizabeth Baker, Professor of Practice, Mills College
Faye Peitzman, Adjunct Professor, UCLA GSE&IS UCLA
Frances Kidwell, Professor CSU, Chico
Gregory Hamilton, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Heidi Stevenson, Associate Professor, University of the Pacific
Hideko Sera, Associate Dean, University of Redlands
Imelda L Nava, Faculty Advisor, UCLA
Janee Both Gragg, Associate Professor, University of Redlands
Jeff Share, Faculty Advisor, Teacher Education Program, UCLA
Jerri Batson, Adjunct Professor, Multiple Subject Program,CSU Chico
Jose W. Lalas, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Center for Educational Justice, University of Redlands
Joseph R Weldon ,Teacher, Macalester College (student)
Judith Barnett , Teacher, Capella University
Julie Nicholson, Associate Professor of Practice Mills College, School of Education
Karen Grady, Professor, Sonoma State University
Kari Tyler, Lecturer, CSU Chico
Kate Sjostrom, Graduate Instructor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Kathy Feeley, Professor, University of Redlands
Kevin Carey, Lecturer, University of Waterloo
Kevin Kumashiro, former Dean, University of San Francisco
Kile Taylor, Lecturer, California State University, Chico
Lisa Olson, Professor, University of Redlands
M. Alayne Sullivan, Professor, University of Redlands
Marilyn Rees Supervisor, Coordinator Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program, Chico State University
Maris Thompson, Associate Professor of Education, California State University, Chico
Máté Wierdl, Professor of Mathematics, The University of Memphis
Megan Lorraine Debin, Professor, Fullerton College
Michelle Bowman, Teacher, Pioneer High School SJUSD
Mikela Bjork, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
MONICA TAYLOR , Professor. Montclair State University
Nicol Howard, Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Nirmla Flores, Visiting Lecturer, University of Redlands
Noah Asher Golden, Assistant Professor of Integrated Educational Studies, Chapman University
Paul Bailey, Lecturer and Supervisor of Student Teachers, California State University, Chico
Paul Thomas, Professor, Furman University
Paula M. Selvester, Professor, School of Education/ASCSU Statewide Senator, California State University, Chico
Philip Mirci, Ph.D. , Associate Professor, University of Redlands
Priya Jha, Professor and Chair, English, University of Redlands
Richard Kahn, Core Faculty in Education, Antioch University Los Angeles
Roberta Ahlquist, Professor, San Jose State University
Robin Brooks, Assistant Professor of Art, University of Maine at Machias
Sarah Thomas, Regional Technology Coordinator, PGCPS
Spencer Harless, former student, North Carolina State University
Susan Edgerton, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Tamara Tribitt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Redlands
Teresa McCarty, GF Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Terrie Epstein, Professor of Education, Hunter College
William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
William Sandoval, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

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