Heads of Schools Speak Out Against Gun Violence – Support the Letter

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Support the Letter

An Open Letter to the President and Our Nation’s Policy Leaders

As Heads of Schools, responsible for the education and physical safety of tens of thousands of children, we are heartbroken over the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Sadly, we have too often seen senseless shootings cut short innocent lives. But the horrific dimensions of the Sandy Hook tragedy are so profound that we are compelled to rise up and say, “Enough!” As the recent events in Newtown and the scenes of other mass shootings teach us, the easy and virtually unrestricted availability of highly lethal, semi-automatic assault weapons and high-powered ammunition place our schools in jeopardy, most especially our children, the youngest and most vulnerable among us.

We implore you, Mr. President and our elected leaders, to do everything necessary to stem this tide of senseless gun violence. Commence and sustain a national conversation about guns and gun violence. Address, and ultimately deny, unrestricted access to weapons and ammunition that have no legitimate sporting or recreational purpose. Recognize that the proliferation of military-grade guns and assault-style ammunition leads to more gun violence and more gun deaths. The statistics are compelling and cannot be ignored.

The United States leads the world in the number of guns per capita; it leads in homicides, suicides and accidental deaths involving guns; and it leads the world in the number of children killed by and with guns, every year. In these grim statistical categories, no nation comes close to our level of violence and gun-related death.  The United States of America can and must do better.

Now is the time to take action. As educators, we believe in the United States Constitution, including the Second Amendment. We also believe our country need not choose between the protection of responsible gun ownership and the prevention of gun violence and that both can be achieved through thoughtful and forceful legislation.

Rarely before have so many school leaders spoken with one voice on behalf of a single issue. We are moved to do so out of a duty to our students and all of our nation’s children. We stand ready to help in this effort, and encourage our colleagues leading schools across the country to join us. Above all, we demand that reason and compassion prevail when it means protecting our society’s most vulnerable members.

We are heads of schools serving children from nursery through high school.  We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We are parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. We are responsible for the education, safety and welfare of children each and every day, and we know the time for action is now.

 

Respectfully,

Bob Siebert, The Churchill School (NY)

 

Roanna Shorofsky Abraham Joshua Heschel (NY)
Marjorie Goldsmith All Souls School (NY)
David R. Trower Allen-Stevenson School (NY)
Alexis S. Wright Bank Street School for Children (NY)
Nancy Glauberman Barrow Street Nursery  School (NY)
Charles Fasano & Michael Dealy Bay Ridge Preparatory (NY)
Robert D. Vitalo The Berkeley Carroll School (NY)
Frank J. Carnabuci, III The Birch Wathen Lenox School (NY)
Jane Foley Fried The Brearley School (NY)
Lydia Acchione Spinelli Brick Church School (NY)
Larry Weiss Brooklyn Friends School (NY)
Stephen M. Clement, III The Browning School (NY)
Julia Harquail The Brownstone School (NY)
Gregory J. O’Melia The Buckley School (NY)
Matthew Stuart The Caedmon School (NY)
Steven Nelson Calhoun School (NY)
Marsha Nelson The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine (NY)
Patricia T. Hayot The Chapin School (NY)
Kate Turley City & Country (NY)
Lee M. Levison Collegiate School (NY)
Richard J. Soghoian Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School (NY)
Kimberly Tsocanos Connecticut Friends School (CT)
Joseph J. Ciancaglini Convent of the Sacred Heart (NY)
Michael Termini Cooke Center School (NY)
Thya Merz Corlears School (NY)
Ellen C. Stein The Dalton School (NY)
Stephen Spahn Dwight School (NY)
Wendy Levey Epiphany Community Nursery School (NY)
Judith R. Blanton The Episcopal School (NY)
Damian J. Fernandez Ethical Culture Fieldston School (NY)
Kenneth J. Boller Fordham Preparatory School (NY)
Joël Peinado French-American School of New York (NY)
Robert Lauder Friends Seminary (NY)
Richard Marotta Garden School (NY)
Robert B. Cunningham The Gateway School (NY)
Donna Kennedy The Gillen Brewer School (NY)
George Davison Grace Church School (NY)
Adam C. Rohdie Greenwich Country Day School (CT)
Nicole Nash Hannah Senesh Community Day School (NY)
Joan Z.  Lonergan The Hewitt School (NY)
Thomas M.  Kelly Horace Mann School (NY)
Angela Bergeson The IDEAL School of Manhattan (NY)
Donna Cohen The International Preschools (NY)
Rebecca Skinner International School of Brooklyn (NY)
Thomas R. Leto Iona Preparatory School (NY)
Mark Fish The Kew-Forest School (NY)
Anna Fiore La Scuola d’Italia “Guglielmo Marconi” (NY)
Margaret Poggi LearningSpring School (NY)
Drew N. Alexander Leman Manhattan Preparatory School (NY)
Dede Proujansky The Lowell School (NY)
Tony Oroszlany Loyola School (NY)
Philip Kassen LREI (NY)
Sean Lynch Lycee Francais de New York (NY)
Patricia Pell Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church Day School (NY)
Michele Sola Manhattan Country School (NY)
Tsivia Yanofsky & Estee Friedman Manhattan High School for Girls (NY)
Debbie Zlotowitz Mary McDowell Friends School (NY)
Concepcion R. Alvar Marymount School of New York (NY)
Brenda Mizel Metropolitan Montessori School (NY)
Phyllis Amori Millbrook Middle School (NY)
Anthony Miserandino Mount Saint Michael Academy (NY)
Paul A. Burke The Nightingale-Bamford School (NY)
Bruce L. Dennis The Packer Collegiate Institute (NY)
Manyi Wong The Park Slope Child Care Collective (NY)
Albina Miller & Leslie Thorne The Parkside School (NY)
David Harman Poly Prep (NY)
Paul J. Shaviv Ramaz School (NY)
Philip G. Judge Regis High School (NY)
Theresa C. Lawrence Resurrection Episcopal Day School (NY)
Dominic A.A.  Randolph Riverdale Country School (NY)
Douglas M. Herron Robert Louis Stevenson School (NY)
Kimberly A. Morcate Rockland Country Day School (NY)
Paul Druzinsky Rodeph Sholom School (NY)
Marilyn D. Ruppart Rudolf Steiner School (NY)
Vincent Tompkins Saint Ann’s School (NY)
P. David O’Halloran Saint David’s School (NY)
Binyamin Krauss & Tully Harcsztark SAR Academy & SAR H.S. (NY)
Ann Sullivan School of the Holy Child (NY)
Ellanor N. Brizendine The Spence School (NY)
Leonard Conway St. Francis Preparatory School (NY)
Virginia Connor St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s (NY)
Bart Baldwin St. Luke’s School (NY)
Paul G. Geise Stanwich School (CT)
Scott Gaynor Stephen Gaynor School (NY)
Janet C. Rotter The Studio School (NY)
Anthony G. Featherston, IV The Town School (NY)
Pam Clarke Trevor Day School (NY)
John C. Allman Trinity School (NY)
Kathleen McNamara Tuxedo Park School (NY)
Salvador C. Uy United Nations International School (NY)
Sharon Lauer The Unquowa School (CT)
Eve K. Kleger Village Community School (NY)
Ronnie Moskowitz The Washington Market School (NY)
Carrie Catapano West End Day School (NY)
Mimi Basso West Side Montessori School (NY)
James Seery The Windsor School (NY)
John J. Russell The Windward School (NY)
William DeHaven Winston Preparatory School (NY)
Jack Raslowsky Xavier High School (NY)
Ronald P. Stewart York Preparatory School (NY)

 

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