Sunday, December 11, 2016

BATs Board of Directors: An Open Letter to Followers of our Network

Dear members of the Badass Teachers Association:

The BATs Board of Directors have given themselves one month to reflect upon the events during and after the election as well as the subsequent cabinet nominations. We see the past month as nothing less than a call of war upon immigrant citizens, people with refugee status, black and brown communities, our LGBTQ students and LGBTQ families/citizens, Muslims, women,  those living in poverty, public education, our Jewish brothers and sisters, and public education teachers.

After several internal conversations, The Board of Directors of BATs have reached some conclusions regarding discourse in our networks.

  • Our work needs to move forward in ways that we push ourselves to be present, on the ground, and supporting those that will call to like-minded individuals and organizations that represent a majority of privileged individuals to assist with standing up, speaking out, and acting against those that seek to control, minimize, or silence those that are oppressed.

  • We need to be strategic in our actions and make sure that the voices of the oppressed are always at the forefront of our work, seeking ways to lift those voices and work to create pathways so that their work can come to fruition.

  • We will not tolerate those that seek to engage in conversations that attempt to give any people in leadership an excuse, a justification, or a reason for any actions or decisions when they further the oppression of others.

  • We will stand firmly in a call of unionism to continue the protections that are afforded to us and were bequeathed to us by our past generations of union brothers and sisters. We will work to push our union leadership to do the right thing as well as hold them accountable when they do not.

  • We will continue to work to understand the perspectives of those that are under oppression, check our individual privilege, and attempt to educate our coworkers and peers in ways that they can understand these perspectives as well as join in the work.

  • Above all else, we will work to make sure our students and families are safe, find ways to provide what they need, or find someone that can, keeping in mind that each little child that is in front of us is a human being, a future adult, and a future leader.

  • In working towards all of the above, at this time we must make it clear that we DO NOT support the incoming administration of Donald Trump.  We cannot in conscience or morality support a President Elect who has spoken racist, bigoted, and misogynist remarks.  We cannot support a President Elect who has appointed a cabinet that stands against all that we fight for.  

For those of you that will join us in this work, as stated above, we look forward to building an even stronger offense to face the future.

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