Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Terror Attack in Orlando

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2016

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

Victoria Oms,
(202) 238-3233

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Terror Attack in Orlando

AERA is aggrieved by the horrific act of bigotry, extremism, and violence in Orlando. The mass murder at the Pulse nightclub is a hate crime that is an assault on the entire LGBTQ community. This and other recent tragedies rooted in hate raise a broad range of societal and policy issues that are at the core of education and education research. Scholars, policy makers, and education practitioners have an important role to play in addressing many of the issues underlying the spread of extremism, the persistence of prejudice, and the prevalence of gun violence.

We call on the education research community to redouble its commitment to examining how bigotry can be eliminated and respect for diverse communities fostered. In addition, developing and promoting research-based programs and policies to reduce the risk of violence on campuses and in other public areas needs to be a major focus of education research. We also call on Congress to lift restrictions that prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Department of Health and Human Services agencies from conducting gun violence research. These restrictions have stymied the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and programs that foster gun safety.

AERA has pressed this point before, in statements on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School; in Charleston, S.C.; and at Umpqua Community College. It is incumbent on all of us to turn our attention to taking real action to solve this ongoing national crisis rather than merely episodically expressing our concern.

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.