I know thousands of educators in this country. I don't know any that are not experiencing disgust, anxiety, anger, and many other emotions now due to the direction of our country. We are working within the confines of racism, misogyny, classism, and intolerance to educate our students the best that we can. But are we doing enough? Could we be doing more? Are our voices truly being heard?
A lot of these educators are doing the best they can in their respective classrooms and schools, but that is often where the activism stops. See, many of us work in conservative districts where expressing ourselves and thoughts on social media and to the world is a negative. We are afraid to get too involved because we do not want our involvement to come back to haunt us.
Did you know that as public school educators, the First Amendment protects us as long as we are speaking outside of our official duties in the interest of the public (Garcetti v. Ceballos)? The ACLU published a must-read piece, "Government Employees Get to Have Opinions, Too", that details how we can voice our thoughts without fear of retribution. Basically, don’t speak about your specific, official duties outside of school and you will be fine. If you do experience any issues with your employer, reach out to the ACLU right away.
In the current state of our nation, freedom of speech is arguably the biggest right that we have to battle a dictatorial administration. It is our ability to speak out against policy decisions that do not benefit us as Americans. It allows us to join in solidarity to make our voices heard. Without it, America is no different from any other authoritarian regime....