AFT Chief Thanks Emergency Responders

"Our thanks go out to all of the first responders for their efforts to ensure the safety of all the students and staff," Randi Weingarten said.

The leader of the American Federation of Teachers, President Randi Weingarten, issued a statement about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"The entire AFT community is shaken to its core by this massacre of young children and the educators and school employees who care for and nurture them. Twenty children and six adults were shot and killed today in one of the worst school shootings in history. We grieve for them all, and our prayers are with the Sandy Hook Elementary School community and all of Newtown, as well as the AFT nurses caring for victims at Danbury Hospital, following this heinous act. I just got off the phone with Newtown Federation of Teachers President Tom Kuroski and pledged to do everything we can to provide support and comfort to the students, teachers, administrators, their families, and everyone in this community grappling with this trauma.

"Our thanks go out to all of the first responders for their efforts to ensure the safety of all the students and staff. In this horrible moment, there were also extraordinary acts of courage by school staff to lock down the school and protect children," she added.

"We'll never be able to prevent every senseless act of violence, but our children, educators and school employees go to school believing it is a safe sanctuary," Weingarten said. "We've been through this too many times. Everything we can do, we must do, including a renewed focus on gun control and preventing gun violence."

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