We in no way have a perfect country or a fair system of laws, but our democracy is well worth fighting for. I never thought I would see an insurrection, yet alone one incited and praised by a sitting president of the United States. As we all watched domestic terrorists attempt to overthrow our democracy by taking over the Capitol of the United States, it was horrifying but not surprising. The death and destruction of that day will find their way into our history books, and we, and the educators who succeed us, will need to teach our children about how we came to this day—and what came after.
We are a country of differing principles and beliefs, but no matter your political leanings, I believe we should be able to agree that no one life is more important than another and no one’s rights supersede another’s based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, economic status, or political party.
Unfortunately, not everyone in power—or all of our fellow citizens—believe and live that to be true. We have much important work to do. I truly believe that educators must play a key role in saving our democracy and bringing about equal rights and equitable treatment for everyone. We must all reflect on our actions and those of people around us, educate ourselves on differing views and what we did and didn’t learn in school, have courageous conversations with diverse groups of people, talk with—and more importantly—listen to students, and make your classroom and/or work space a safe space filled with opportunities for diversity and learning from each other.
We must also take the necessary steps forward to ensure equal rights, treatment, and opportunities for our students and fellow citizens. Make sure your voice isn’t silent and that your actions bring about positive change for all.