Journal of Educational Controversy

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Seattle Black Lives Matter Movement a Fitting Introduction to the Journal of Educational Controversy’s Upcoming Issue.

The Journal of Educational Controversy’s upcoming issue: Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex aims to add more voices to the Black Lives Matter discussion and, as always, provide a forum for examining the dilemmas and controversies that arise in the education of citizens in a pluralistic, democratic society. 

Earlier this year, an unprecedented movement of Seattle educators, staff, students, and community members demonstrated the importance of this issue to all people who are directly or indirectly affected by how Black lives are valued at school.

On October 19, thousands of educators, students, staff, and family members in Washington’s Seattle Public School District organized to wear Black Lives Matter shirts, promote class discussions, and perform before-school rallies in an effort called “Black Lives Matter At School.”

The event arose as an expression of solidarity with John Muir Elementary School, which had previously canceled an event on “Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative” after received threats against Black Lives Matter supporters.  

Although not officially sponsored by the Seattle School District, the event was endorsed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle Educator’s Association and supported by the Seattle teacher’s union. The event was scheduled to coincide with Seattle’s preexisting “day of unity” which focuses on promoting equity in education.

According to participants, the movement aimed to draw attention to inequality in all areas of public education including historical representation, opportunity gaps, and unbalanced patterns of discipline and retention rates. The Seattle Public School District made a statement asking educators and community members to “engage and join the conversation in our united efforts to eliminate opportunity gaps.”

In an interview which first appeared on SocialistWorker.Org, event organizer and Garfield High School Teacher Jesse Hagopian talked about the importance of demonstrations like theirs to embolden the community. “School is supposed to be a place to talk about the things that matter most, and now [students] are being allowed to do that,” he said, “I think that a lot of what the teachers did in wearing that shirt was inspired by the actions of students who are protesting all around the city.” 

In October, the Seattle Public School community made the statement that Black Lives Matter at their schools. The Journal of Educational Controversy hopes to continue the conversation and invite more voices into the discussion with its upcoming issue: Black Lives Matter and the Education Industrial Complex as well as a panel discussion that will take place later this year. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Interfaith Messages for 2017


Welcome back to our blog for the New Year.  We thought we would start 2017 once again with a message from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, an organization that we have featured on our blog on different occasions.  Check out their resources and programs for teachers and principals at https://tanenbaum.org/programs/education/
Below Tanenbaum shares the wisdom from across the world’s faiths and beliefs to guide and ground us throughout 2017. 

 African Indigenous Religions

It is not always physical bravery that counts. One must have the courage to face life as it is, to go through sorrows and always sacrifice oneself for the sake of others. African Traditional Religions Kipsigis Saying (Kenya)

Baha’i

Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind. Bahau’ullah, Tablets of Wisdom

Buddhism

Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) of great strength delight in reconciliation of conflict. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 8

  Christianity

 All of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

  Confucianism

 All you have to do is take this very heart here and apply it to what is over there. Hence one who extends his bounty can bring peace to the Four Seas; one who does not cannot bring peace even to his own family. Confucianism: Mencius I.A.7

Hinduism

What sort of religion can it be without compassion? You need to show compassion to all living beings. Compassion is the root of all religious faiths. Basasvanna, Vachana 247

Islam

A man once asked the Prophet what was the best thing in Islam, and the latter replied, “It is to feed the hungry and to give the greeting of peace both to those one knows and to those one does not know.” Hadith of Bukhari

Jainism

Have benevolence toward all living beings, joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the indolent and ill-behaved. Tattvartha Sutra 7.11

Judaism

The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace. Talmud, Gittin 59b

 Native American

 Respect for all life is the foundation. The Great Law of Peace

 Secular Humanism

There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. Bertrand Russell, Russell-Einstein Manifesto

 Shinto

To be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami. Jinja Shinto Principle

Sikhism

 Now is the gracious Lord’s ordinance promulgated, no one shall cause another pain or injury; all mankind shall live in peace together. Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.5

Taoism

 Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu