Today, the Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of civil rights leaders sent a letter asking congressional leaders to consider legislation to curb gun violence, and prioritize culturally affirming solutions that address children’s emotional, health and safety needs in the classroom over punitive policies. The letter also addresses the failure of school-based law enforcement agencies to address violence and protect students. Police presence is also associated with increases in suspension and expulsion for Black students and greater discipline disparities between Black and white students, undermining educational outcomes and pushing these young people into the school-to-prison pipeline. Any policies proposed and implemented must make clear that the causes of the problem – gun violence – are white supremacist ideologies, racism, and lack of protections from guns. Policy solutions must protect students not cause more harm, including unintended but well-documented harms.

Read the full letter here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.