‘Are you worthy of your students?’

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Repeating a question posed by former National Teacher of the Year Kim Oliver, National Education Association Vice President Becky Pringle asked participants at the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy Wednesday: “Are you worthy of your students?”

“We cannot say we are worthy of our children as long as fear and inequity, discrimination and injustice exist in our society,” Pringle said. “We cannot answer this question yes as long as one child feels that they are not valued and respected for who they are.

“It’s time to reclaim our profession for educators, our classrooms for students, our schools for our communities and public education for this democracy. It’s time to embrace Bishop Desmond Tutu’s defiant cry, ‘I wish I could shut up, but I can’t and I won’t.’

“If we stand together, they won’t know what to do with us,” Pringle said. “We’ll organize and agitate. We will change hearts and minds. We will stand together, and they won’t know what to make of us.

“We’ll unite social justice warriors all over the country, and we’ll keep coming and keep coming and keep coming, and they will falter. We will stand together, and they won’t be able to defeat us. We won’t shut up! We won’t shut up!”

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Repeating a question posed by former National Teacher of the Year Kim Oliver, National Education Association Vice President Becky Pringle asked participants at the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy Wednesday: “Are you worthy of your students?” “We cannot say we are worthy of our children as long as fear and inequity, discrimination and injustice exist in our society,” Pringle said.