A friend of mine shared this, written by a co-worker of hers. Both are teachers.
District 79, the district I chose to work as an educator, services some of the most disenfranchised students living in the New York City. MANY are homeless, MANY are living in shelters. MANY have experienced the kinds of trauma, from a very young age, that most of us would consider unthinkable. MANY do not have parents or family members able to advocate for them. They DO NOT HAVE ADVOCATES. We try. Our counselors try. Our social workers try. Sometimes we succeed. We buy them coats in the winter (with our own money), we find a way to get them some kind of healthcare, we listen to them. Largely, they are on their own.
I fear we are now entering the age of the Education Industrial Complex with the confirmation of DeVos. So, when I hear the question,”Maybe DeVos will shake things up, what is so bad about an outsider coming in, after all, parents should have a choice?” My reply is, “What about those students that don’t have parents to advocate for them? What about the 17 year old student who needs childcare? What about the student that is reading at a third grade level at 18 because of an ignored learning disability? What about the student who had to leave high school at 16 to support his/her siblings because there are no guardians in the home? Where will they go to school?” Answer: At a public school, with little money left to provide them with the support they so desperately need because of the voucher/charter school crusade. I guess that is God’s plan, according to the GOP.
My friend who shared this has been wracked with anger and anxiety for her students. I’ve seen her go through so much just to try to help them get the basics they need so they can know what it’s like not to be marginalized. What’s happening is sickening, and as shitty as I think it is, hearing it from a teacher is heartbreaking.