The siege on our nation’s Capitol this week was an affront to American democracy, pure and simple.
But for us, as educators, it is a moment we must reckon with as we work with students who saw something unimaginable happen in our country – an act of open sedition at the temple of our democracy. In that vein, I want to share some helpful resources for talking with students about this week’s riot in Washington, D. C.
Wednesday’s actions were inexcusable – both by the rioters and the President who incited them. And there must be ramifications. Those who participated in the insurrection must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Even with less than two weeks remaining in office, President Trump must be held accountable for his words and actions, both in inciting Wednesday’s riot and his baseless attacks on the outcomes of a fair election.
As such, I am sharing with you a statement released tonight by NEA President Becky Pringle calling for the president to be removed from office – a statement I fully support:
“Our nation is based on a promise that every single person — Black, Latino/a/x, Asian, Native, White, regardless of wealth — can pursue a better tomorrow. That promise is in jeopardy because President Donald Trump and his allies refuse to accept the will of the people and have endangered Americans and American democracy.
“To protect our democracy and ensure the safety of our nation, the National Education Association is calling for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the office of the President. Yesterday wasn’t the first heinous and anti-democratic act of violence directed by the current president and his allies, and it won’t be the last if he isn’t removed from office now.
“The American people rejected the intimidation, dysfunction and injustice of this President. His response was to incite insurrection, endangering the lives of Republican, Independent, and Democratic elected officials and their staff. The resulting loss of life, the destruction of federal property, and an unknown level of breach of information security was all done against the backdrop of President Trump refusing to authorize the National Guard to deploy and stamp out this seditious attack.
“Restoring our national security and safety of our democracy requires our leaders to take swift action consistent with our Constitution — the law of our land. We should immediately heed the calls by both Democratic and Republican officials to remove President Trump from office, so our new leaders can get back to work on addressing the priorities of the people that elected them — COVID relief, racial justice, and a quality public education for all Americans, no matter who they are or where they live.
“Our children are witnessing the promise of American democracy unravel before their eyes — and they’re paying attention. They are seeing the blatant inequities in the treatment of violent insurrectionists who, protected by white privilege, were able to carry out this violent seditious act. And they are seeing a president who instigated that violence and who has fomented racial division from his first days in office face no consequences other than stern rhetoric, or worse, submissive silence.
“Our students are watching what we do next to protect our country, and it is our duty as educators to fight to protect our democracy and a nation that is always seeking to create a more perfect union of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
I wholeheartedly agree.