decolonize education

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Myths about Teachers: We Need More Police in Our Public Schools

By Bill Ayers, Crystal Laura, and Rick Ayers

In “You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones“: And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, educators Bill Ayers, Crystal Laura and Rick Ayers flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers’ unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, the authors aim to challenge readers to rethink their assumptions about teachers. Praxis Center shares an excerpt from Myth 16: Teachers Are Unable to Deal Adequately with the Disciplinary Challenges Posed By Today’s Youth, and We Need More Police in Our Public School Buildings to Do the Job and Maintain Law and Order.

“Teachers Are Unable to Deal Adequately with the Disciplinary Challenges Posed By Today’s Youth, and We Need More Police in Our Public School Buildings to Do the Job and Maintain Law and Order.”

Public schools are plagued by gangs and fighting, assault and battery, drug dealing, and other criminal behavior, including, in extreme instances, actual shoot-outs between students. All of these hard realities demand an active and alert police presence to maintain safety, order, and discipline.

Schools must be safe havens for all kids, as well as for all school personnel. The good kids who want to learn and feel secure must be shielded from the actions of a minority of bad kids who get no discipline at home and have no respect for their classmates, the teacher, or learning itself. Suspending kids for bad behavior and sending them home may have made sense decades ago, but it’s no longer an adequate control: too often parents don’t believe in strong management and probably aren’t home anyway because the mother may be working two jobs, and in many cases the father isn’t home because he has left or is in prison.

Why I Declined an Award from My University

By Therese Quinn

Open Letter to The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education

April 29, 2017

Office of the Dean
The University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 W. Harrison St. (MC 147)
Chicago IL 60607

Dear Dean Alfred Tatum and College of Education Community:

I am writing to thank the Department of Curriculum & Instruction for selecting me to receive public honor as a graduate of the College of Education (COE). However, after discussions with members of the College’s Decolonize Education Coalition, reviewing the data and analyses posted on the group’s Tumblr (Views From the Silenced), and reflection on my experiences as a COE graduate student, I feel that I must decline this award as well as participation in the honoree events. Because of my high regard for the COE, I don’t take this decision lightly. Yet, as the Nicaraguan poet Giocanda Belli wrote, “Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.” I offer this open letter to explain why I have chosen to forego this award and stand in solidarity with the students of COE and the Decolonize Education Coalition.

#decolonizingonebeadatatime: Resistance with Nicole Cardinal from the Dakelh Nation

By Shayna Plaut

Nicole Cardinal is a self-described “matriarch-in-training” from the Dakelh Nation and “a First Nations and Indigenous Studies Warrior.” Deeply committed to her schooling as a mature undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia (UBC), her number one priority is raising her two young girls with her husband “in the most traditional way possible in urban Vancouver.” In 2015, she made the short four-minute film Resistance as a part of her Indigenous film class at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The film has gained a life of its own that extends far beyond the classroom walls. Resistance details Nicole’s journey into disrupting the ongoing colonial educational system and how she reclaims space – and truths – inside and outside of the classroom through traditional and Western knowledges and practices.

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