Chicago, IL – The Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) has encouraged the city’s teachers to alter their curriculums for their newly-created “Black Lives Matter at School Week,” and touted the school movement as a kickoff for Black History Month.
The CTU introduced a resolution, unanimously adopted by the union’s House of Delegates on Jan. 10, which dedicated the week of Feb. 5 to Black Lives Matter (BLM), and urged teachers to wear apparel promoting the BLM movement, and invited them to attend a variety of union-hosted BLM events.
The designated week was introduced on a Facebook page that was created on Dec. 3, 2017, and opened with a picture of Philadelphia teachers giving the black power salute. The CTU’s website directed teachers to that Facebook page for instructions on how to implement the BLM school week.
While it’s difficult to identify who exactly is behind the 2018 push for the week of national recognition in schools, some districts across the country appeared to be endorsing the concept and the altered curriculum.
“Organizing for workplace justice MUST include organizing for racial justice in our schools,” the page posted on Sunday, and went on to boast about how many school districts would be participating because of union endorsements.
“The National Black Lives Matter Week of Action and the movement for #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool is organizing solidarity of both AFT and NEA teachers’ union locals and caucuses from all over the country. A growing list, from coast to coast, includes: Seattle Education Association, Reynolds Education Association, UTLA, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, Chicago Teachers Union, Maryland State Education Association, HCEA Howard County Education Association, Washington Teachers’ Union, Baltimore Movement of Rank and File Educators, Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia, Caucus of Working Educators, Newark Teachers Union, New Jersey Education Association, South Orange-Maplewood Education Association, MORE UFT, Boston Teachers Union.”
In Chicago, the teacher’s union jumped in with both feet.
The CTU’s recently passed resolution encouraged classroom teachers to teach lessons about related topics such as the “school-to-prison” pipeline, black immigrant youth, black women empowerment, the black LGBTQ community, and black history.”
“The CTU will host events this week aligned to the national demands for ending the pushout of Black teachers in our schools, proper implementation of restorative practices in schools, and ending zero tolerance discipline, and teaching students Black and other histories and ethnic studies curricula,” the group’s missive said.
Although the resolution did not address who the union believed was responsible for the teachers’ “pushout,” it noted that “there were too few Black educators and educators of color … in proportion to the number of students of color they teach.”
The CTU blamed law enforcement for a portion of the negative effects on the Chicago school system, and want to push police out of schools, although the direct connection to education was unclear, and complained that black men were “still disproportionately represented” in police-related deaths.
The union argued that “Black and Brown students” also faced unfair punishment by Chicago Public Schools.
“Discipline, criminalization and over-policing of Black and Brown students has proven to be ineffective,” the group stated. Instead, they said restorative practices should be better implemented.
Despite the apparently unanimous consent of the CTU, other cities have struggled over the proposal.
The United Federation of Teachers, New York City’s largest teachers union, recently voted down a proposal to endorse the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This is the civil rights movement of our time. And waiting any longer to put black lives or black students’ lives, or black educator lives, or communities’ lives at center, to not do that would be a huge mistake,” said Jia Lee, a teacher and member of United Federation of Teachers.
But the union’s leadership did not agree, and even black leadership voted against the proposal, NY1 reported.
Members reported that the black assistant secretary of the union, LeRoy Barr, said in the closed-door meeting that Black Lives Matter was a divisive or splitting issue, and that the union has traditionally avoided controversial issues, even going back as far as the Vietnam War.
While the teacher’s union has not endorsed it, a splinter group called UFT Movement of Rank and File Educators planned to embrace it anyway, according to the list of committed participants.
Most people have their own personal beliefs about what Black Lives Matter means to them. They think that their personal definition for Black Lives Matter is what the organized BLM groups stand for; this is not the case. However, the teacher’s union’s specific promotion of Black Lives Matter ideology shows that they know exactly what they’re promoting.
This includes political goals and Marxist ideologies that most people would disagree with, including disrupting the “nuclear family” structure (see Black Villages), taxpayer-funded reparations for black people (see Reparations), and the elimination of charter schools (see Invest-Divest.) If you are unfamiliar with the Movement 4 Black Lives website we linked to, that’s the coalition of over 50 Black Lives Matter organizations which is receiving $100 million in donations to push their political goals. This is the political message that the teachers are promoting when they teach “Black Lives Matter.”
Do you think that this should be taught in public schools? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.