Masked teacher teaching elementary school children.
Statement of Support: Student Activism around Gun Violence

Statement of Support

Student Activism around Gun Violence

Students throughout the United States, led nationally by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are demanding that action be taken to protect school students from gun violence.

We the undersigned -- Friends Council on Education and Heads of Friends (Quaker) schools from across the country -- support these kinds of student-initiated acts of civic engagement with current issues. We unite with others who reach out in support of the students from Stoneman Douglas High School who are seeking to make their schools places of peace and safety; places where freedom from gun violence is a given, and where their focus can be upon their work as learners.

Quaker schools offer educational programs that encourage the creation of connected communities in a climate of equality and respect for all. Included in a Friends school’s mission is the deeply held belief that all people have equal worth and all human life is sacred. These principles require that all of us listen for the truth in the words of others in our community, regardless of age or status.

Quaker schools actively promote the non-violent resolution of conflict and reaching out to those in need in order to eliminate the root causes of war and injustice. One of the strengths of Friends school communities is creating healthy and safe places to learn, to be known, and to be connected with adults and peers who will encourage positive growth.

We believe that a prerequisite for the ability of our students to exercise their imaginations and intellects requires safety -- physical safety to provide a consistent and welcoming learning space, and emotional safety to allow students to share of themselves and their opinions without fear of reprisal, retribution, or ridicule. It seems to us that the prerequisite goal of simple safety should be shared by every school of every kind throughout the United States.

The students in Parkland, Florida are sending us a powerful message about the truth that they live each day: they do not feel safe in their schools so long as gun violence remains a daily threat.

We call on public officials to heed the call of students across the country and take action to address the multi-layered problem of gun violence. We urge our country’s leaders to listen deeply and carefully to our young people. We believe what they ask for is rightly ordered and essential – to keep them safe from the fear of, and potential for, gun violence so they can live into their roles as leaders of our future.

Rich Nourie
Abington Friends School, Pennsylvania

Kavita Hardy
Arthur Morgan School, Virginia

Sadie Kneidel
Arthur Morgan School, Virginia

Larry Weiss
Brooklyn Friends School, New York

Russel J. MacMullan
Buckingham Friends School, Pennsylvania

Chris Gorycki
Cambridge Friends School, Massachusetts

Karen Cumberbatch
Carolina Friends School, North Carolina

Janet Himel
Chappaqua Friends Nursery School, New York

Karen Carney
Chicago Friends School, Illinois

Kirk Smothers
Delaware Valley Friends School, Pennsylvania

Sharon Fichthorn
Fairville Friends School, Inc., Pennsylvania

Kathryn Park Cook
Frankford Friends School, Pennsylvania

Andrea Kelly
Friends Academy, New York

Allyx Schiavone
Friends Center for Children, Connecticut

Larry Clements
Friends Community School, Maryland

Drew Smith
Friends Council on Education, Pennsylvania

Deborra Sines Pancoe
Friends Council on Education, Pennsylvania

Elisabeth Torg
Friends Council on Education, Pennsylvania

April Diop
Friends Council on Education, Pennsylvania

Mara Y. Nicastro
Friends Meeting School, Maryland

Madeleine Berresford
Friends Neighborhood Nursery School, New Jersey

Michael Zimmerman
Friends School Haverford, Pennsylvania

Matthew H. Bradley
Friends School Mullica Hill, New Jersey

Waman French
The Friends School of Atlanta, Georgia

Matt Micciche
Friends School of Baltimore, Maryland

Anna Dallam
Friends School of Harford, Maryland

Joe McHugh
Friends School of Minnesota, Minnesota

Jenny Rowe
Friends School of Portland, Maine

Brenda Esch
Friends School of Wilmington, North Carolina

Michael Gary
Friends Select School, Pennsylvania

Robert (Bo) Lauder
Friends Seminary, New York

Jeff Harwell
Friends Western School, California

Craig N. Sellers
Friends’ Central School, Pennsylvania

J. Samuel Houser
George School, Pennsylvania

Dana Weeks
Germantown Friends School, Pennsylvania

Mimi Ackers
Goshen Friends School, Pennsylvania

Edward Marshall
Greene Street Friends School, Pennsylvania

Andrew K. Smith
Greenwood Friends School, Pennsylvania

Daena Berdougo
Gwynedd Friends School, Pennsylvania

Matthew D. Sharp
Haddonfield Friends School, New Jersey

Darrell Cotton
High Point Friends School, North Carolina

John McKinstry
Lansdowne Friends School, Pennsylvania

Suzanne Fogarty
Lincoln School, Rhode Island

Deni-lyn Lane
London Grove Friends Preschool & Kindergarten, Pennsylvania

Debbie Zlotowitz
Mary McDowell Friends School, New York

W. Earl Sissell
Media-Providence Friends School, Pennsylvania

Sue Gabrielson
Monteverde Friends School, Costa Rica

Laurence Van Meter
Moorestown Friends School, New Jersey

Matt Glendinning
Moses Brown School, Rhode Island

Kim Freedman
New Garden Friends School, North Carolina

Dana H. Harrison
Newtown Friends School, Pennsylvania

Evelyn Cole
Oak Lane Day Care, Pennsylvania

Chad Cianfrani
Oakwood Friends School, New York

Micah Brownstein
Olney Friends School, Ohio

Cynthia A. Walker
Olney Friends School, Ohio

Sarah Sweeney-Denham
Plymouth Meeting Friends School, Pennsylvania

Jane Fremon
Princeton Friends School, New Jersey

Alex Brosowsky
The Quaker School at Horsham, Pennsylvania

Adrian Moody
Ramallah Friends School, Palestine

Marcie Roberts
Richmond Friends School, Indiana

Mike Hanas
San Francisco Friends School, California

Thomas Gibian
Sandy Spring Friends School, Maryland

Thomas Weber
Scattergood Friends School, Iowa

Berna Artis
School for Friends, Washington, DC

Bryan Garman
Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC

Dan Hendey
State College Friends School, Pennsylvania

Jill Dougherty
Stratford Friends School, Pennsylvania

Whitney Thompson
Tandem Friends School, Virginia

Nancy Donnelly
United Friends School, Pennsylvania

Brian Fahey
West Chester Friends School, Pennsylvania

Eve Nealy
Westbury Friends School, New York

Jon R. Hall
Westfield Friends School, New Jersey

Tori Jueds
Westtown School, Pennsylvania

Pam Chambers
Wichita Friends School, Kansas

Darryl J. Ford
William Penn Charter School, Pennsylvania

Ken Aldridge
Wilmington Friends School, Delaware

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