ESA Heads Call for Action Against Gun Violence

We, the heads of independent secondary schools comprising the Eight Schools Association, stand in solidarity with our students and with the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We join with those voices demanding meaningful action to keep our students safe from gun violence on campuses and beyond.


As many of our students have joined a nationwide movement to support the victims and survivors of gun violence in America, we pledge, as leaders of those schools, to help amplify their voices. Our students come from every state in this nation and from around the world to receive the very best care and education. We are moved to take action out of responsibility for the thousands of children in our care and out of compassion for children throughout this country. Each day of inaction chips away at every teacher's right to deliver and every student's right to receive an education free from fear and violence.

We have given witness to Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, among too many other instances of gun violence on campuses. Parkland is now added to that list. We as school leaders will do all we can in our power to keep our students safe. We call upon all those elected representatives – from each member of Congress to the President to all others in positions of power – to take meaningful legislative and regulatory action to make our schools safer for learning and teaching. It is hard to imagine any topic that would be more worthy today of our leaders' focus.

Do not let our students' voices go unheard this time.

Alex Curtis, Choate Rosemary Hall

Margarita Curtis, Deerfield Academy

Craig Bradley, The Hotchkiss School

Stephen Murray, The Lawrenceville School

Peter Fayroian, Northfield Mount Hermon

John Palfrey, Phillips Academy, Andover

Lisa MacFarlane, Phillips Exeter Academy

Michael Hirschfeld, St. Paul's School

Please also see An Open Letter to Elected Officials in Connecticut from the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.