Statement on Violence in Pittsburgh and Kentucky
October 29, 2018
For more than 300 years, Quaker schools have embraced both the historic Peace Testimony of the Religious Society of Friends, and the pioneering idea of William Penn that government and society should respect and enforce religious pluralism. Indeed, Quaker schools have long championed the idea that our schools should be havens for students from all walks of life from all faith traditions.
Today Quaker schools advocate and teach non-violent resolution of conflict in order to eliminate the root causes of injustice and war. We believe that our embrace of peace promotes healthy and safe places to learn, to be known, and to be connected with adults and peers who will encourage positive growth regardless of race, religion, social status, age, or gender identity.
The tragic shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the supermarket in Jeffersontown, Kentucky are acts antithetical to the beliefs and practices of Quaker schools. Friends Council on Education affirms that Quaker schools stand for equality, integrity, and the rigorous search for truth. We mourn the senseless loss of life and we call on our schools to renew our collective commitment to actively working for peace. Let us affirm the conviction that all life is sacred and deserving of our deepest respect, and our commitment to creating a society that truly embraces our most cherished ideals. Let us join together as we strive to build peace and humanity in the world, seeking justice and equity for all.