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Teachers, T-Shirts & The Messages That They Send

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Particularly in light of what’s happened in Ferguson recently, and in light of the death of Eric Garner, who was killed by a New York City police officer using an illegal choke hold, it just boggles my mind that a number of New York City teachers chose to wear NYPD T-Shirts to begin the school year.

Did they even stop to consider the message that this action might send to students?

Do they not know that the school population is now comprised of a majority students of color?

Do they not know that relationships are key to student learning, that trust is key to developing relationships, and that first impressions are critical?

Here are some articles about what happened in New York City this week, followed by a couple of must-read tweets by Melinda Anderson:

NYC’s Teacher, Police Unions Battle After Teachers Warned Against Wearing NYPD T-Shirts is from Channel Four in New York.

Also, check out An Open Letter To The White Teachers Who Wore NYPD T-Shirts To School, Despite Being Told Not To and Not All My Teacherfolk Are My Kinfolk (written by Jose Vilson).

I’m adding this post to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Why would a real teacher EVER teach their students to disrespect the police?

    Why would a real teacher EVER encourage disrespect for the law and authority?

    Why would it be okay for a union to set a dress code for workers taht the union is supposed to represent?

    Why would it be okay for a union to attempt to censor the free speech of the workers that they are supposed to represent?

    Why would t-shirts supporting one side of a social/political issue be encouraged, while t-shirts supporting the other side are censored?

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