SEATTLE – Hundreds of Seattle teachers will celebrate the district’s “day of unity” with shirts signaling support for the divisive Black Lives Matter movement, an event sponsored by a group called “Social Equality Educators.”
Social Equality Educators have preordered 1,000 shirts for teachers to wear next week, including a special “Black Lives Matter to Educators” event next Wednesday that coincides with Seattle Public Schools’ “day of unity,” The Seattle Times and Fox News report.
The shirts read “Black Lives Matter” and “We Stand Together” and are modeled after shirts teachers planned to wear at a September event at John Muir Elementary titled “Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative.”
That event was expected to feature more than 100 black men greeting students outside of the school in an effort to dispel negative stereotypes, but it was canceled the day before after alleged threats caused security concerns, the Times reports.
“Seattle educators want to ensure that these type of threats are not welcome or tolerated in our community,” according to a Social Equality Educators news release.
Teachers told Fox News they believe it’s their duty to weigh in on the racial injustices faced by blacks and set an example for their students.
“What inspired me the most was when students asked, When are Hamilton teachers going to do this? When are Seattle school teachers going to stand up and say Black Lives Matter and celebrate us?” teacher Sarah Arvey said.
“It’s important for us to know the history of racial injustice and racial injustice in our country and in our world and really in order for us to address it,” she continued. “When we’re silent, we close off dialogue and we close the opportunity to learn and grow from each other.”
Fox News reports the Black Lives Matter teacher protest also includes classroom lessons and discussion.
“They’re not just wearing T-shirts,” the news site reports. “They’re changing the curriculum and dialogue in the classroom. Even providing resources and books to help teachers facilitate the conversations.”
Those material are undoubtedly influenced by the Pacific Educational Group, which at one time listed Seattle Public Schools among its list of clients for its six-figure teacher training sessions on “White Privilege” – the perspective that the white supremacist system is hopelessly stacked against minorities. PEG removed the client list from the website last year under intense public scrutiny generated by EAGnews reports.
PEG promotes the notion that white educators cannot truly reach black students to help them learn until they feel sufficiently guilty about the advantages they’ve reaped in life because of their skin color and repent for their whiteness.
The white privilege perspective is the same reason the district voted last year to end out of school suspensions for elementary students. In district’s across the country, officials are working to comply with orders from the Obama administration to reduce disproportionately high suspension rates for black students by ignoring infractions that previously earned a suspension.
The result has been chaos in the classroom for many urban school teachers, from St. Paul, Minnesota to Oakland, California and numerous others, EAGnews reports.
In Seattle, both teachers union and district officials seem to support the Black Lives Matter teacher protest, which they frame as action aimed at closing the “opportunity gap” between black and white students.
“Eliminating the opportunity gap and providing an equitable, quality public education is at the forefront of our mission,” Seattle Education Association President Phyllis Campano told the Times.
“We respect our teachers’ rights and desire to express themselves,” the district said in a statement. “While T-shirts are a visual, we hope the message inspires people to do the work to eliminate opportunity gaps.”
Not everyone, however, is excited teachers are celebrating black lives above all others.
“ENOUGH!!!! ALL LIVES MATTER!!! PERIOD,” one person posted to Facebook, according to Fox News.
“Their ‘reading list’ and teacher ideas are censored, but this is appropriate??? #no,” another wrote on Twitter.