Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
NEA Issue Explainer

Gun Violence Prevention

Students need safe environments to learn, live, and grow.
Educators hold up signs that read Protect Our Schools Photo by Patrick Ryan
NEA Members participate in the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C. in 2018
Published: December 2, 2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

K-12 Public and Private Schools.
Shopping Malls. 
Fourth of July Parade. 
Entertainment District. 
Veterans Home. 
College Campuses. 
Movie theater. 
Lunar New Year Festival. 
Dance Studio. 
Military Base. 
Hotel bar. 
Nursing Home. 
LGBTQ Nightclubs. 
Country Music Festival. 
Private Households. 
Military Recruiting Office. 
Massage Parlor. 
Women’s Health Clinic. 


These are the places where Americans have been killed or wounded in mass shootings. 

Students deserve safe communities, schools, and campuses that promote their learning and development. But sadly, children and young people are surrounded by gun violence. 

According to the Pew Research Center’s recent analysis of federal data, the number of children and teens killed by gunfire in the U.S. increased by 50 percent between 2019 and 2021. 

Our students are coming of age in an era of mass shootings in grocery stores, malls, and banks, at Fourth of July parades, concerts, and places of worship—anywhere we gather. Massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Umpqua Community College, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Robb Elementary, the Covenant School, and other schools have traumatized children, their families, and educators. 

Students should not have to endure drills on how to hide from mass murderers. Educators should not be forced to act as shields against assault weapons and make impossible choices to try to protect students from the worst horrors imaginable.  

97Percent, a bipartisan gun safety organization, unveiled research in October 2022 revealing that 70 percent of gun owners favor laws that would reduce gun injuries and deaths. We must come together to pass commonsense reforms, such as a ban on assault weapons and background checks on gun show sales and transfers.

Resources: Responding to Gun Violence

Educators Adela Ghadimi
“We need to have Congress act and take action that means something. To actually ensure that we don’t have to keep reliving these nightmares every couple of weeks.”
Quote by: Adela Ghadimi, Graduate Assistant, Florida

Ready to stand up for public schools?

We need to build our communities. We need to fully fund public schools. We need to hold our elected leaders accountable to the people. And we need your help to make it happen.
ISEA members pose with signs as they advocate for students. One says "We'd rather being teaching, but this is important." Another says, "It's time to use our outside voices."

Active anywhere decisions impact our students.

From the School Board to the Statehouse or even the White House, ISEA members make our collective voice heard on a host of issues that impact our students, educators, and communities.

Learn more about what we're doing to improve the lives of our students, educators, and families.


Leading in our schools, communities, and state.

The Iowa State Education Association works to promote, advance, and protect public education, the education profession, and the rights and interests of our members. When you join the ISEA, you’re joining forces with the power and influence of 3.2 million members nationwide.