March for Our Lives, March for our Communities, March for Our Schools

On Saturday, March 24, ATF members from across the district marched in solidarity with our students against gun violence in our schools and against gun violence in our communities. The March for Our Lives rally was called for by the student survivors of the Parkland school shooting and the national response to their call to action was overwhelming.

Students from across the nation have taught us by example to hold our politicians accountable and we have a simple, 5 step lesson plan to continue their work:

  • Step 1: We will hold our elected officials accountable to us—not the National Rifle Association.
  • Step 2: if our political leaders are more accountable to the big money of the NRA than they are to their own citizens we will vote them OUT of office.
  • Step 3: We will run for office on a platform of peace, justice, and common sense gun control in every city and every state in this nation and we will win. We will mobilize and we will prove that people have more power than big money.
  • Step 4: We will continue to strongly oppose the arming of teachers and school personnel as the means to end gun violence in schools.
    • We will not militarize our schools.
    • We will not buy into the false narrative started by a weak president in bed with the NRA. Arming teachers is a distraction from the real issue of gun control in America.
  • Step 5: And if even one person supports the false idea that we should arm teachers we will reply:
    • Arm us with enough school counselors so we can build skills to prevent violence, have meaningful discussion with students about their future.
    • Arm us with social workers who can thoughtfully attend to a student’s and families.
    • Arm us with more days to teach and fewer days dedicated to testing.
    • Arm us with class sizes that allow us to know our students and their families well.
    • Arm us with well-funded schools and the respect we deserve.

(Watch the video of Ellen’s speech at the march. Click here for a transcript.)

Students and families across the nation are plagued by gun violence, not just in our schools but also in our communities. Our families deserve peace at school and within our neighborhoods.

Join us on April 20th as we continue the fight against gun violence. April 20th is the day of the massacre at Columbine High School during which 12 students and one teacher were killed.

We invite you to wear orange on the 20th. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, her family and friends asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence.

Orange is what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. Orange is a bright, bold color that demands to be seen. Orange expresses our collective hope as a nation — a hope for a future free from gun violence.