Sunday, February 1, 2015

Are We Teachers or Security Guards?

Should a teacher be fired for refusing to search students?

My AWARE-LA colleague, Vitaly, has just written an article explaining how he is being threatened with termination as a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher for refusing to use a metal detector to randomly search his students. Although the policy itself is alarming and implemented unjustly in many schools, this particular situation needs attention because this 21-year veteran educator has created a vibrant, trusting environment for students living in a housing project, a continuation school for students who have been kicked out of traditional schools. These students, attending class in a one-room schoolhouse in the projects with their sole teacher, are inspired to learn and dedicated to the restorative justice and critical pedagogy (a la Freire) this teacher brings to the school.

Vitaly and his students have created one of the most inspiring classrooms I have ever witnessed, and it is likely to be destroyed without outside support and pressure on district officials. Please take a look at the article Vitaly just wrote for the school district's union newspaper about the situation, Are We Teachers or Security Guards?, (article is on page 9 and continues on page 15). It documents research indicating that random searchers have been shown to be destructive and undermine the basic intent, to create safe schools. Please share this post with others to raise awareness about this situation.


1 comment:

  1. Dear Shelly,

    Hi, there, Shelly! What a magnificently inspiring and brilliant blog post article in which you have so, so very graciously and generously composed, my precious white sisterfriend, Shelly!!!!!!!! It has taken me longer to respond because my very silly and temperamental home computer refuses to work anymore and that darned computer won't cooperate with me. Some of my local friends don't feel technologically able enough to help me get it up and running again but I won't give up on seeking help-if worse comes to worse I'll just have to buy a new computer when I am able or continue going to the Iowa City Public Library and the University Of Iowa Main Library and use their computers. Thank God for libraries my so, so very dearest and precious white sisterfriend, Shelly!!!!!!!!!

    Vitaly is such an absolutely impressive person doing a vitally necessary and even life-saving job as a teacher and an educator, sister! He is so amazingly courageous as he follows his conscience, doing the right thing by these precious young people, and with integrity staying the course even though this decision has put his job in jeopardy. Our young people should not be demonized like this and treated like criminals without cause, and they deserve the very best and have such talented potential, my white sisterfriend, Shelly!!!!! These delightful and so full of creative intelligence also need and deserve a very vibrant and a trusting environment, my white sister Shelly!!!!!! I am so blessed to learn of Vitaly and the story of these spectacular and fantastic kids-they are all such a great inspiration to me, Shelly!!!!!!! You, too, Shelly, are very indeed my very inspiration as you are such an incredibly and wondrously wonderful white woman as an empowering and inspirational white anti-racist and ally in solidarity, my sister!!!!!!! You are a sister not only to me as the lesbian black woman who i am but also to other blacks and nonwhite persons, and to our white sisters and brothers as well. I thank-you, thank-you, thank-you For Always so, so very profusely, Shelly, for all you do in such a grand and powerful, and graciously diligent manner, my dear white sister who you are For Always so, so very much!!!!!! You and the other astounding white anti-racist allies in solidarity just keep me keeping on, and keep my ever increasing faith and hope For Always alive, sister!!!!!!! Thank-you For Always, Shelly!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very dear and precious white sister, Shelly, and Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, my white sisterfriend,

    Your Christian lesbian black sisterfriend For Always in solidarity, Sherry Gordon