Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Because We Stand Together

For the past two days, I've written about the tragedy taking place along our southern border, where children, infants even, are being torn crying from their parents' arms, and being confined in concentration camps. The administration is clearly feeling the pressure as citizens continue to call, write, and protest, but sadly, the evidence is that they are attempting to double down. I urge you to continue to apply pressure to not only our elected representatives, but also the businesses that are helping them do this. If you need help in how to get started, please click here and here. Here is a good place to make a donation. Here is a good place for information about businesses that are complicit. Here is where you can learn more about feet on the street protests being planned in your area. If you care at all about children, if you care at all about your own humanity, there is nothing more important to be doing than this. Please don't let up. Not for a second. Thank you.

In the moments I've been able to step back from the abuse happening our name, it's hard not to connect this to a wider societal problem. As I've heard the callousness, the heartless jokes, and the grasping-at-straws excuses being made by those who support the administration's border policy, I am more aware than ever that there are too many Americans who devalue, and even hate, children and childhood. This is the most recent, horrifying, example, but it crops up every day in the form of those who advocate for "tough love (which isn't love at all)," spanking (which is child abuse), and high stakes standardized testing (which, among other things, destroys the love of learning, steals childhood, and raises stress levels into toxicity). All of my efforts on this blog are attempts to push back against this.

I am obviously not the only one. Indeed, we are an army of parents and other advocates who daily champion the view of children as fully-formed human beings, worthy of our respect, our genuine friendship, and our love. We are the defenders of childhood and my fellow teachers stand at the front. Last week, for instance, the Seattle Education Association, our local teacher's union, voted for a resolution calling for a two year moratorium on all standardized testing in our schools. This comes after years of effective protest by these teachers on behalf of their students, an effort that has involved a strike, boycotts, and facing down the threats of disciplinary action. This latest resolution does not come without risk, but I am confident that as they have done in the past, parents will rally behind them. That's what we do for our children: stand in solidarity in their name, fighting together for what is right.

I take great comfort in knowing that I am not alone, that we are legion, and that ultimately, no force on earth can stand long in opposition to children, parents, and teachers united. We will prevail because we stand together. It's the least we can do for children.

I've just published a book! If you are interested in ordering Teacher Tom's First Book, click here. Thank you!

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