Massachusetts Teachers Union President Barbara Madeloni calls for teachers to organize 'love trumps hate' standouts
A high-profile Massachusetts educator sent out an email asking teachers unions to "organize standouts across the state next Tuesday" to "let students and parents know that love trumps hate."
Barbara Madeloni of Northampton, president of Massachusetts Teachers Association, called these "dangerous and frightening" times — referring to Donald Trump's election as the 45th U.S. president last week — and encouraged teachers to "act on our duty as educators in public schools and colleges to educate for democracy."
"We must use our power as educators to let all of our students and their families — but especially those who were targeted by the president-elect in his campaign — know that we will provide safe spaces, defend them from attack and be more focused and vigilant in our struggle for justice," Madeloni's email read.
She added, "Our students need to be given the tools and opportunities to name the world, develop and articulate their ideas, and act with courage, empathy and a sense of justice. We need to talk about racism, sexism and the ways in which power can be used to abuse and oppress."
The demonstration requested by Madeloni in her email involves teachers welcoming "students to school with signs of love and support that speak to how we cherish their differences and how we will protect their right to be themselves, to feel safe and in charge of their bodies and identities, and to tell their stories."
The email urged the creation of "safe spaces" in school buildings and campuses as well.
"We cannot be shy or cautious in our defense of our students and their families," Madeloni said. "This is a time to push past rules and bureaucracies that limit our ability to show and live our compassion."
The president's email follows a wave of similar requests and actions by school administrators around the country following the election.
University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy released a statement saying the school "remains wholly committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion and respect for all" while grief counseling Massachusetts Teachers Union President Barbara Madeloni calls for teachers to organize 'love trumps hate' standouts | masslive.com: