Sunday, December 21, 2014

Taliban Besiege Pakistan School, Leaving 145 Dead

Dear Students, Friends,  and Colleagues:

Please join me in condemning these reprehensible, unspeakable crimes against children and humanity.  The Taliban took the lives of 145 people in a crowded school in Peshawar, Pakistan.  132 of them were children. According to the NYTimes, this is the "deadliest single attack in the group’s history."  

Read and listen to Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's condemnation of this atrocious attack.  She calls upon the international community to stand up to these acts of violence.

I just signed a petition against this brutal and horrific act against children in Pakistan.  Consider signing it and posting it on your respective blogs, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. 

It is time for all of us to revisit the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, now in its 25th year yea since its ratification worldwide.  All teachers, caregivers of children and youth, all parents and children also need to read this document so that children can know their rights.

Here is a Child-friendly version of the Convention

Shamefully, the U.S. has signed, but not ratified the Convention and is but one of three UN members—including Somalia and South Sudan—not to have ratified it.  The U.S. has its own internal process for getting this done and requires two-thirds of the senate to vote on it, but president after president has passed the buck on this one.  We should therefore also step up efforts with the Obama administration to get this done before he leaves the White House.

UNICEF and other organizations decry and condemn incredible violence against children and youth as being particularly brutal toward children worldwide. Check out their website for information on this.


Taliban Besiege Pakistan School, Leaving 145 Dead

Photographs|11 Photos
LONDON — First the Pakistani Taliban bombed or burned over 1,000 schools. Then they shot Malala Yousafzai, the teenage advocate for girls’ rights.

But on Tuesday, the Taliban took their war on education to a ruthless new low with an assault on a crowded school in Peshawar that killed 145 people — 132 of them uniformed schoolchildren — in the deadliest single attack in the group’s history.

During an eight-hour rampage at the Army Public School and Degree College, a team of nine Taliban gunmen stormed through the corridors and assembly hall, firing at random and throwing grenades. Some of the 1,100 students at the school were lined up and slaughtered with shots to the head. Others were gunned down as they cowered under their desks, or forced to watch as their teachers were riddled with bullets.

Their parents crowded around the school gates, praying their children would survive while listening to the explosions and gunfire as Pakistani commandos stormed the building.

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