Burgundy's Head Among 133 Decrying Gun Violence
Burgundy’s Head of School Jeff Sindler is among 133 independent school heads from the Washington-Baltimore region who have co-signed an open letter decrying gun violence and urging legislative leaders to take action to prevent it. The letter ran as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun (Wednesday, March 14, 2018) and The Washington Post (Sunday, March 18, 2018).
Jeff explained that the content of the letter and the opportunity to sign it was coordinated through collaborative efforts of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW). Burgundy is a member of AISGW and Jeff currently serves as a trustee on the association’s board. Of the 77 total AISGW schools, 71 are signatories. Jeff discussed the inclusion of his signature with Burgundy’s Board of Trustees executive committee.
Text of the letter:
The horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has led students, teachers, and school leaders to speak out forcefully against gun violence. Students -- children -- who have experienced this trauma and loss first-hand are showing the way. As adults and as educators, it is our time to lead. With those student activists and with their grieving families, we too say, “Never Again!”
For years now, citizens of the United States have endured mass shootings, in public venues, neighborhoods and communities, houses of worship, colleges and universities, and our schools. Children, our most vulnerable citizens and our hope for the future, are dying from gun violence, again and again.
Statistics from countries around the globe show that it is possible to minimize gun deaths through common-sense legislation. Here in the United States, we see that easy access to weapons, particularly those of military-style design, results in significantly higher levels of gun violence.
We urge our President, our Congress, and our state leaders to enact specific, vigorous measures to reduce gun violence in our society, particularly in our schools. We need a robust system of registration and background checks, with a particular eye toward weapons capable of rapidly firing a vast number of deadly shots. We need stronger mental health services and more effective communication among agencies responsible for the well-being of children, adults, and families. What we do not need is to arm our teachers with guns, which is dangerous and antithetical to our profession as educators.
As school leaders, we call upon everyone who cares about the education and the welfare of children to urge our government to act. We need our teachers to be able to teach. We need our students to be able to learn. And we need everyone in every school around the country to feel safe.
Our school communities represent multiple political parties and occupy different positions on the spectrum from liberal to conservative. Our schools are secular and religious, small and large, urban, rural, and suburban. We serve a range of children, from nursery through grade twelve. Our calling is to serve and to educate children, to ensure their safety and well-being, and to help them grow into thoughtful and responsible citizens. Please let us do our work. Please act now with vigor, determination, and urgency, on behalf of our nation’s children.
Review the letter to see all signatories.