We can create safe and thriving communities by joining the growing number of cities who are re-appropriating funds from a punishment-based system and re-aiming them towards a new system that builds thriving communities.
I was unfamiliar with the work of Seattle teacher and activist, Jesse Hagopian before reading this opinion piece he wrote for the Seattle Times last week. The story of his personal involvement with police violence and the lawsuit he won against the Seattle Police Department is important background for this piece too. A quick Twitter search reveled this gif of the author being maced by SPD as he was trying to make a phone call. WTF?
Does anyone know the salary of Seattle police officer Sandra Delafuente (the cop who pepper sprayed me in the face at 2015 Martin Luther King rally)? pic.twitter.com/QGAUlKoc68
This is a fantastic short article geared towards teachers. It’s also a great reminder of what a wonderful resource the website, Teaching Tolerance is.
In the piece, we are reminded of the intersecting meanings of being “civil,” meanings that may have to do with a mutual respect, but also may be couched in colonialist stories about “savages.” So, in just one word, students and teachers alike might find a radical connection between Black History in the 20th century– the so-called “Civil Rights Movement”– and the anti-colonialist struggles of indigenous people in the Americas. Brilliant!
I am reminded again of Wayne Ross’s conceptualization of K-12 social studies curriculum in terms of a focus on “dangerous citizenship.” My hunch is that this configuration of citizenship education has applications even more broadly across curriculums. What I am trying to get at, I think, is the necessity of historicisation of curriculum, or the necessity of teachers’ bringing a historical awareness to their lessons– whatever they are teaching. It’s a historicity that need not be confined to social studies, but one which includes things like etymologies (in the literal, linguistic sense of the histories of the meanings of words) as well as the historiographies of curriculum– the changing ways in which teachers and students have thought about their lessons over time. Such a historicisation is the big first step in bringing the focus of public education back to the progressive as well as more radical social reconstructivist aims that have guided it since the beginning.