On Oct. 19, teachers around the Seattle metropolitan area stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
As many as 2,000 teachers wore BLM shirts and pins and participated in rallies at their respective schools. According to The Seattle Times, members of Social Equality Educators, a group that is part of the Seattle teachers union, organized rallies at schools across the district before class started in an attempt to bring awareness to racial inequities in the education system. However, the demonstration was sparked in part by an incident that occurred last month.
In September, John Muir Elementary school teachers received a threat after planning to wear BLM shirts with the words “We Stand Together” and “Black Lives Matter.” More than 100 Black men intended to gather outside the school and greet students. Organizers of the “Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative” event planned to address racial stereotypes, but their event was cancelled due to a looming security threat. Yesterday, teachers wanted to come out and support those affected by the cancellation.
In the clip from The Associated Press, educator Jesse Hagopian says that teachers are rallying to let Black students know that their lives matter.
“We need to affirm that their lives and their right to an education [matter]. We need to say this because there is institutional racism in our school system and in our society that needs to be uprooted.”