A message from Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association (NEA):
The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubery, and Breonna Taylor have sparked a movement of outrage and protest across the country and the world. The deaths of black men and women at the hands of police are part of the long, deep racial history and trauma caused by the culture of white supremacy.
As educators, we are protectors of another public space wrought with inequities, bias, and institutional racism: education.
As such, we have a collective responsibility to take individual action—not just in the classroom and our schools, but also in the public sphere. Because the same structures that perpetuate school segregation and the school-to-prison pipeline are the same structures that continue to keep black people from full participation in American life, whether it is in our judicial, housing, health, or economic systems.
For many black students and families, our public schools are the heart of their communities. But far too many have been overlooked, neglected, and forgotten by those in power who choose to bailout greedy corporations instead of investing in our schools and communities. We must hold decision makers accountable to the people by reinvesting in policies and systems to achieve healthy, strong, and just schools and communities.
To our black students, colleagues, parents and families: You matter. Your voice matters. Your healing matters. Your dreams matter. We mourn with you. We stand with you. We will continue to organize with you to dismantle all acts of discrimination and racism in all places and in all forms.
Join us in the work so the names George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubery, and Breonna Taylor and the many others who died before them will be remembered as the catalysts of a movement toward justice.