To say that it has been a year would be an understatement. Teachers and students are barely into a week of “break,” barely into a week of relaxing the tension in our shoulders, and barely into a week of reflecting on all that played out this year.
Yet, here we are again being called out as incapable by “concerned citizens.”
Well, I too am a concerned citizen.
I’m concerned that board meetings, which used to be a place of celebration, collaboration and business, have now become a place where adults yell, boo and jeer the very students they claim they are trying to protect.
I’m concerned with the message it sends to my students, specifically my students of color, my LGBTQIA+ students, and my students with disabilities, when they hear adults proudly proclaim they do not support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools.
I’m concerned that people fail to see educators as facilitators of learning and would rather cling to the claim of indoctrination when subject matter makes them uncomfortable.
I’m concerned with the false narratives that are being spread, when in reality, none of the things these concerned citizens have gripes with (besides masks) are actually happening in the pre-K-12 classroom.
People are also reading…
Enjoy the freedom and bask in the outdoors. But take a moment to remember the ones who made sacrifices so you’d be able to do so.
But most importantly, I’m concerned that these “concerned” citizens, after stomping on the efforts of our educators, after trampling over student voice, and after kicking mud at the board who works tirelessly to keep our image squeaky clean, will walk away proud, justified, and ready to do it again at the next meeting.
... and yet they have the audacity to call themselves concerned citizens.
The students have spoken.
Those closest to the students have spoken.
The community has spoken.
While you may not have shown up with the intent to listen and understand, I hope you find some time to do exactly that this summer. Because in August, we’ll be into the thick of it, once again, and we know exactly where we’re going.
On and on we push.
Brandon Thornton is a Golden Apple Scholar who teaches special education at Bloomington High School.