Thousands of Seattle teachers wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school. Here’s what it looked like.

The #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool event in Seattle yesterday was breathtaking.

Never before in the country has an entire district of educators risen up to declare that Black lives matter. It’s hard to even put into words the power of this event. It has been reported that 2,000 teachers wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school across the district–in fact, the number was much larger than that.  That is the number of shirts that were ordered from the Social Equality Educators, however, many schools made their own shirts. Families made buttons and distributed them to schools.  Some parents set up informational booths in front of their school with resources for teaching about racism. There was a joyous atmosphere around the city.  Many educators around the city took the day to teach students developmentally appropriate lessons about institutional racism and hold dialogues about Black lives matter.

There is so much work left to be done to make Black Lives truly matter at school. But at the rally for Black lives at lunchtime at my high school, Garfield, something happened that let everyone know that change is already happening.

One of our teachers, Janett Du Bois, revealed to everyone in the middle of our rally that the police had murdered her son a few years ago. No one at our school knew about this. It was in that moment of seeing everyone wearing  Black Lives Matter shirts that she found the strength to tell her story. Her bravery to go public with this has changed Garfield forever.  I am so glad that she no longer has to suffer alone with the pain. Here is a short news story that doesn’t do her full speech justice, but will give you a glimpse: http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/2000-seattle-teachers-to-wear-black-lives-matter-shirts/338419052

ABC provided national news coverage of our day and the amazing evening rally: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/seattle-teachers-bring-black-lives-matter-school-42942387

Here is a link to some of the best photos taken of the day from a Seattle Public Schools parent, photographer, and author Sharon Chang: https://sharonhchang.com/blacklivesmatteratschool/

Below are just some of the photos of schools from around Seattle who participated in #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool:

6 responses

  1. A group that exudes this if you’re not with us you’re against us attitude is toxic in the vast majorities eyes. BLM consistently bullies and or shames folks into following an ideology of victimhood towards the African American citizen.

    While the groups intentions may be perfectly logical to the BLM crowd I don’t think they truly realize the damage they’re doing by alienating and shutting down any dissenters.

    Most of the problems in the classroom seem to come from poor or nonexistent parenting in the home life. Perpetuated by a toxic gangster rap culture of music geared towards black youth. A young African American is left with poor role models if none are found in the classroom, the community or on sportsfields.

    Rather than wearing a T-shirt with a slogan and standing around as if to check off the box that says I’m not racist how about educators and administrators begin to treat those in need with the appropriate amount of thoughtfulness and understanding while stopping offensive gang banger mentalities and encouraging change through positive, consistent interaction at school.

    Simply standing around wearing shirts and expecting a pat in the back is actually rather insulting to the youth you claim to be trying to help and only singles them out as victims when all they want to do is be like the other children. So be mature and adapt your teaching to help those who need help don’t stand around glad handing in a T-shirt that only adds fuel to an already raging race war. Teach, it’s your job.

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    1. Chris @ Dadding Value | Reply

      It would be great if there weren’t a need for the statement that black lives matter. Unfortunately, black lives have not mattered as much as non-black and non-Hispanic lives in this country.
      The slogan is not meant to be divisive. The African American community wants to be treated equally to all other communities. They are yearning to be included, not to be excluded.
      The slogan is meant to draw attention to the fact that so many black lives have been treated as if they don’t matter. There is zero intention with the slogan to suggest that black lives matter more than any other lives. The intention is to state that black lives matter as much as all other lives. Until that is acknowledged, both with words and with deeds, then the slogan needs to be shouted from the mountain tops, or at least written on the tee shirts of caring, empathetic people who would like to see a change in the way African Americans are treated.
      I agree with you that more resources need to be put towards solving the problem of inequality. However, before we can get there, there must be an acknowledgement that a problem exists. You have some constructive suggestions. There is no reason that those suggestions cannot coexist and partner with the current movement to bring about awareness that black lives do in fact matter as much as noon-black lives.
      I really look forward to working with you and everybody else in this country to make sure that everybody is treated with respect and dignity because of their status as a human being.
      Have a great day, Chris.

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  2. Bring the controversy; silence is a friend only to apathy.

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  3. Chris @ Dadding Value | Reply

    Great, empowering, inspirational stuff. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. […] in Philadelphia are launching the Black Lives Matter week of action, continuing to build the Black Lives Matter At School movement that has now reached school districts across the country. During this week-long campaign, teachers […]

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  5. […] unprecedented action, which included over 2,000 educators donning Black Lives Matter t-shirts, inspired similar actions in Bellevue, Philadelphia, and […]

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