Opinion: Washington State Educators Don’t Care About Kids From Law Enforcement Families
A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Education Association (WEA), the largest union representing educators in Washington State, unanimously approved the “Black Lives Matter Resolution”. This resolution effectively ignores the fact there are thousands of students with family members in law enforcement in the state. It creates a hostile learning environment for those students and effectively shouts to them that they don’t matter.
Through this resolution, the WEA announced their support for, and belief in, Black Lives Matter, a political anti-police organization responsible for months of civil unrest, violence and destruction. The WEA has pledged to display the Black Lives Matter banner “prominently” on the flag pole outside of their headquarters in Federal Way, Washington as a visible affirmation of their stance.
The resolution also states the WEA will push “state-wide participation in the Black Lives Matter at School Week” in February of 2021, in which teachers are encouraged to use materials provided by BLM at School in order to indoctrinate children into the “movement” that has brought violence to their communities. These materials are readily available for educators on a website that prominently displays a quote from Assata Shakur, a convicted and escaped cop killer who was once one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists who is now living in Cuba.
The president of the Washington Education Association, Larry Delaney, and the union’s vice president, Janie White, recently sent out a letter via email to WEA members with a simple subject line of “Kevin E. Peterson, Jr.” The letter was regarding the police shooting of Peterson near Vancouver, Washington several days prior. In their letter, Delaney and White claim Peterson, who was black, was “murdered” by sheriff’s deputies because of his race. They tout him as a recent graduate of a local high school, a football player, and a father. What they fail to mention is Peterson was the subject of a narcotics investigation who ultimately fled from deputies and pointed a loaded handgun at them after failed attempts to get away.
The resolution passed by the WEA and the attitudes of the elected union leadership sends a clear message to students from law enforcement families. You are not important.
Teachers, administrators, and school staff are supposed to be trusted by all students. Classrooms, whether in the school or online, are supposed to be a safe environment for all students. They should be places where students are focused on learning, not distracted by the politics of the educators. Educator’s unions like the WEA should support this idea.
As the child of a police officer in the Pacific Northwest, my teenage son notices when his teachers infuse their political beliefs into their lessons. He notices their Black Lives Matter posters and other political messaging pinned on the classroom walls and in their Zoom backgrounds. Although I have been face to face with BLM and Antifa terrorists for months on end, I explain to him that those messages likely come from a place of ignorance and that those teachers are probably unaware of the dangerous and destructive nature of the group they blindly support in the interest of proving they are “woke”. He still wonders if they would be biased against him if they knew he was part of a law enforcement family. I do, too. He clearly feels he is in an environment where he has to hide his beliefs and opinions, and he has to hide who he is. He tells me, other classmates, with law enforcement parents feel the same way.
How can this be an inclusive and safe environment for all students? The Washington Education Association has made their answer clear. They will continue to support teachers pushing this toxic political agenda. They don’t care about you if your parent is a cop.