Topic: Civil Rights

California Teacher CFT Convention racial justice

Racial justice: Tim Wise says the purpose of education is to get free

Whenever we see inequalities in our society we need to remember one thing, antiracist activist Tim Wise told attendees — there are no accidents, just precedents.

Wise, who has written seven books, most recently Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America, talked about how the inherent injustice of the educational system must be transformed — the system was never meant to bring equity.

California Teacher Vergara union fair share

The lawsuits that educators and unions must defeat

Special Report by Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

Education unions and public sector unions are facing legal attacks designed to destroy our ability to represent our members. Not surprisingly, these cases are supported by the usual anti-union law firms and wealthy backers. What follows is a snapshot of the cases CFT and other unions are now fighting.

California Teacher international CFT Convention

CFT supports families of missing Mexican students
Survivor tells horrific tale of persecution and murder

Angel Neri described the unique education given students at the Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in his speech at CFT Convention. The school takes students from rural farming communities, trains them as teachers, and then encourages them to return to work in schools in the poorest, most remote communities in Mexico. This has earned the school the enmity of corrupt and violent elements of Mexican society.

California Teacher private sector

Catholic school teachers concerned with morality clauses
Archbishop’s controversial proposals provoke national reaction

Faculty at four Bay Area Catholic high schools have expressed objections to non-inclusive statements about marriage, sexuality, and reproduction made by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, and concern over his controversial proposals to designate teachers in the diocesan high schools as “ministers” in the faculty handbook and the collective bargaining agreement.

California Teacher community building Black Lives Matter labor art

Berkeley teachers commit art for justice
Two union campaigns strengthen the bonds of community

In February, Berkeley teachers posted 1,000 “Black Lives Matter” signs in classrooms, hallways, administrative offices and on school grounds to highlight recent court decisions on the police shootings of young black men. They are also distributing “Black Lives Matter” lesson plans and resources to teachers in every grade level at the nearly 20 district sites.

California Teacher Vergara

Education unions fight to reverse Vergara ruling

The CFT and the California Teachers Association filed a notice of appeal asking that Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara v. California be reversed in its entirety. Stating that Treu’s decision striking down five California Education Code provisions “is without support in law or fact,” the appeal says Treu’s reversible errors are “too numerous to list.”

California Teacher CFT Convention

Leader of Moral Mondays Movement brings delegates to their feet

North Carolina’s Reverend Barber says it’s time for some righteous indignation.

“These are serious times,” Reverend William Barber II told the CFT Convention delegates on Sunday morning. Barber is president of the NAACP in North Carolina and the leader of the fast-growing Moral Mondays Movement, which protests cuts to education, healthcare and food stamps. He worked delegates into a fervor telling them that sometimes they needed to get out of their conference seats and go into the streets to fight back against things they think are wrong, and that it’s time for some righteous indignation.

Article racial justice

“No Time to Quit”
A look at school desegregation by former CFT President

By Miles Myers, Former CFT President

In the nation’s first school desegregation case, on February 13, 1931, in Lemon Grove, California, the Mexican parents of Roberto Alvarez went to court to stop the Lemon Grove Grammar School from denying access to Mexican children. A victory for Roberto in the local court stopped the case from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. But the same issue did reach the U.S. Supreme Court almost twenty-two years later (1953) when the Black parents of ten-year-old Linda Brown sued the Topeka (Kansas) School Board, demanding that skin color (and race) not be used to deny her access to her neighborhood public school. Unlike the Lemon Grove court, Topeka courts did rule that skin color could be used to deny Linda’s entrance to the nearby public school and, thus, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. Her local public school, she said, was her gateway to opportunity, and thus, that gateway should not be blocked by segregationist policies. She won.

California Teacher

Arizona outlaws core Mexican-American Studies program
Tucson High School teacher recounts story of textbook and curricula ban

A few days before she traveled to CFT Convention in San Jose, María C. Federico Brummer received an email at 8 p.m. from the Tucson Unified School District. It contained a list of newly banned books that the district wanted packed by noon the next day. During class, her students watched her comb the cabinets and remove classroom sets of the affected titles.