The killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, is a national tragedy. The Network for Public Education sends our condolences to his family and community. We also decry the inequitable treatment that Michael and millions of other young people of color receive in the form of racial profiling and disparate justice. School segregation and systemic oppression culminated in the August day when Michael was killed, and if unchecked, will continue to hurt many more young people.
We hope that those joining us in decrying this injustice will not only condemn this direct act of violence but the violent systems that perpetuate inequality. Join us to fight for educational and social justice for all young people. We desperately need equitable law enforcement that is responsive, respectful and protective of the entire community it serves; we also need equitable, fully funded public schooling. We need a criminal justice system that is restorative and non-oppressive; we also need to support educators to implement restorative practices within our schools. We need to devote resources to providing a strong neighborhood school in every community; we also need to ensure that community members have access to job opportunities to support their families.
Michael Brown was a fellow human being whose life was ended violently and prematurely. We urge people not merely to say, “Never again,” but to join us in the struggle to ensure that all of us receive due process and fair treatment. We encourage and support educators across our society to continue to teach and model justice in our classrooms in solidarity with the young people of our country to help build the future that Michael Brown deserved.