On May 25, 2020 George Floyd was killed. He died with a police officer’s knee pushing on his neck, calling for his dead mother and crying out “I can’t breathe.” The officer did not listen. Three other officers heard those cries, saw him dying and did nothing to protect him. George Floyd died because a system, in place for years, allowed him as a Black man in America to be killed. Without judge, without jury, without clear evidence that he had committed any crime, his life was of no value to those officers – to that thin blue line.
This act was committed in daylight, in the open, on the street. It was filmed by bystanders who could hear George Floyd cry out, who begged officers to stop. We all saw it. We all heard it. There was no looking away – this was done in front of us, live and still those policemen had no fear.
So now what?
We stand here, at our very core, with all adjectives removed, We are educators. Standing against ignorance, shining as beacons to show the way to success for all.
We are warriors ready to battle in the fight for the future for all our students – a fight for the future of ALL children from ALL communities, for ALL the dreams of parents who have sacrificed so much to see that their children in our care, reach and attain their dreams.
We must stand together. It is not a choice when we stand. It is not about the convenience of the fight or the ability to fit the fight into a schedule. The fight is NOW. The fight is ALWAYS. The fight is being brought to us on every stage, meeting, gathering and social platform.
We must provide our children with basic resources such as physical and mental health professionals, access to music and the arts, important access to technology, a community that stresses not just what children should be taught but also giving them what they need. This is a fight, but a fight that we must DO……and DO THIS TOGETHER!!
The foundation of any community is in how it raises its children and provides them with all of the tools, skills and confidence necessary to build their own bright futures. Teachers understand that when a child has their basic human needs met, their curiosity respected and encouraged,then you have created a community of citizens and leaders who understand what it means to work together, to respect all and to have equality of opportunity and access.
This isn’t just a moment. This is a movement.
Today parents talk to their children about George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Other parents have spoken to their children about Sandra, Michael, Trayvon, Freddie and Tamir. They have spoken about Amadou, Rodney, Emmett and so many, many more. Teachers – we cannot be silent nor can we be sidelined.
We honor these lives lost, we listen to the call for justice and we stand because Black Lives Matter.
If you think speaking up is too much trouble, THEN YOU HAVE BEEN SILENCED.
If you think standing up is too risky, THEN YOU HAVE BEEN MINIMIZED.
If you think it won’t make any difference, THEN YOU HAVE ALREADY DECIDED TO LOSE
If you think this is not our job, THEN YOU ARE NOT AN EDUCATOR.
WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS FIGHT TO BE LOST. THIS IS THE TIME.
GO. FIGHT. WIN!
MCEA Board of Directors