Statement on Muslim Rhetoric

We, as educators of conscience, stand in defense of our Muslim Sisters and Brothers and formally denounce any and all anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiment. American communities and their schools should be safe havens for all students, and we as educators must stand by all members of our community, regardless of faith.

Recent inflammatory statements by a presidential candidate serve only to divide us and to create an atmosphere of fear and prejudice. These statements are reminiscent of our nation’s past injustices, including:
-the attacks on German-Americans during WWI
-the wave of race riots against African-Americans after WWI
-the blacklists of the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s
-the barring of Jewish emigres into this country during WWII
-the internment of Japanese and Italian Americans during WWII

We call on all public officials and candidates to denounce religious and racial bigotry. Furthermore, we call on school district personnel to work together to create and implement programs that celebrate diversity and foster an attitude of tolerance. It is the responsibility of every American citizen to defend the ideals that this country embraces, including but certainly not limited to the freedom of religion.

In Solidarity,
August Leppelmeier, Teacher, NYC (MORE Caucus/UFT)

Beth Dimino, NY, PJSTA President

Lyn Bigelow, Teacher, Sacramento CA (NTA, California Teachers’ Association)

Jia Lee, NYC, MORE Caucus/UFT

Aixa Rodriguez, NY BATS

Jamaal Bowman, NYC Principal C.A.S.A. Middle School

Francesca Gomes, NYC, MORE Caucus/UFT

Xian Franzinger Barrett, Chicago CORE/CTU

Brian St. Pierre, NY, PJSTA

Mike Schirtzer, NYC, MORE Caucus/UFT, STCaucus/NYSUT

Bet Chetney, Baldwinsville Teachers’ Association, STCaucus


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