Statement from CFT President Joshua Pechthalt on the Tragic Gun Violence in South Carolina

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, June 19, 2015

Education Union Calls for Stronger Gun Control Measures

The CFT shares its outrage and sadness with the families, friends, loved ones and millions of other Americans mourning the senseless murder of nine innocent people killed at the historic First AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The tragic combination of racism and easy access to guns has robbed us once again of individuals who had much to contribute and full lives to lead.

We join in mourning with and supporting those whose lives have been permanently shattered. But we shouldn’t shy away from the bigger issues that have again created such brutality.

This horrific murder underscores why we as educators have worked to get our investments in the California State Teachers Retirement Fund out of illegal gun manufacturers. But much more needs to be done. We must continue to organize and work for stronger gun control measures that restrict access to guns.

Finally we need a deep and difficult discussion about why in the 21st century racism and hatred continue to be so pervasive in our lives.

At what point will these senseless tragedies finally move us to act differently?

The California Federation of Teachers represents faculty and classified workers in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. For more information,