Skip to main content

School Safety in These Moms’ Sights

Thu, 08/24/2023 - 11:58
Celebrating the launch of Sag Harbor Moms Demand Action on Aug. 16 were, from left, Emily Onkey, Joey Wolffer, Meredith Burns, and Zara Tisch.
Francesca Zdanio

The organization Moms Demand Action has its roots in tragedy, formed as a Facebook group by a mother of five children the day after the mass school shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn., in December 2012. Since then, it has grown into a national organization with chapters in every state, confronting what it calls a “uniquely American crisis.”

Now, Sag Harbor has its own chapter.

“We believe the power of this issue unifies us by gathering as a community with the unique resolve of mothers and caregivers,” Meredith Burns, a Sag Harbor mother of three who moved here during the pandemic, said in a statement. “. . . . It is so easy to feel helpless on a topic as horrific as this, but together, step by step, we really can build an incredible, informed, safe, and empowered community.”

On Aug. 16, Joey Wolffer — herself a member of Moms Demand Action — hosted a gathering at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard to welcome new members. Ms. Burns and Ms. Wolffer were joined by Emily Onkey, Zara Tisch, and Emily Tisch Sussman in encouraging all parents, “both year-round and seasonal,” to “fight for gun safety at the local, state, and national level.”

The group plans monthly meetings and opportunities to take deep dives into such issues as responsible gun ownership and storage, legislative action, and school safety. “The goal is for the meetings to be inclusive and educate parents to take action in ways they feel confident and comfortable to create a safer community for everyone,” they said.

Abbey Clements, a teacher who is a survivor of the Sandy Hook shooting and a co-founder of Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence, attended the Wolffer Estate gathering last week. She delivered the “heartbreaking statistic” that so far in 2023, there have been more than 420 mass shootings in the United States.

“As a mother myself, I can confidently say that moms have a grit that is unmatched,” she said in a statement. “It is so encouraging to see more women joining together to lead in the fight against gun violence. . . . This will not stop until every mom, every parent, every educator, every community joins this effort to eradicate gun violence. It is women like this, that bring together a community to unite behind a common goal, that gives me so much hope.”

Moms (and dads) who are interested in joining Sag Harbor Moms Demand Action can register at Meeting dates and locations will be sent via email.


Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.