The following letter generated by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) ran in seven CT newspapers on Thursday, March 8, 2018. Northwest Catholic President Christian Cashman was proud to join 86 fellow heads of school who signed this important document.
An Open Letter to Elected Officials in Connecticut
As Heads of Independent Schools in Connecticut, responsible for the education and physical safety of children, we are heartbroken over the recent massacre in Parkland, Florida. We stand in support of the Parkland survivors and their efforts to effect change.
Connecticut residents can take pride in the knowledge that our state is viewed nationally as a leader in advancing gun safety and that our legislators are committed to expanding existing protections and introducing thoughtful and reasonable new measures.
Unfortunately, the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are continuing evidence that true gun safety in Connecticut and across all of America remains an elusive goal. Although it is illegal to possess military grade guns and assault grade ammunition in Connecticut, our state borders are welcoming to all and our protection is therefore limited.
For those of us who care for children in schools, December 14th 2012 is remembered as the saddest day in our careers. Twenty Connecticut children between six and seven years old and six adult staff members lost their lives while at school.
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 guns, every year. In these grim statistical categories, no nation comes close to our level of violence and gun-related death. As long as we continue to view gun safety as a partisan, political conversation we will struggle to achieve the protection available in many other countries in the world.
The undersigned Heads of School in Connecticut’s independent school community implore our elected state officials and state representatives in Congress to capitalize on the reputation they have earned for recognizing the magnitude of this human rights issue. There can be no more compelling issue for bipartisan cooperation than the safety of America’s children. Our children deserve better.