We hope that you all enjoyed a restorative February break as we head into a (hopefully) warmer March and begin celebrating Women’s History Month!
As we close out Black History Month, we wanted to thank all of our members who continue to lift up and center Black history, leadership and excellence, particularly members of our BLM at Schools Committee and Racial Justice Committee. In addition, BTU member Edith Bazile was featured in the Globe as part of their Black History Month spotlights. Nationally, incredible Black history was made just this past weekas President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court!
Although February may have come to an end, anti-racism work, and specifically anti-racism work pertaining to anti-Black racism, must continue every day and every month. This work must be redoubled, particularly in light of efforts across the nation to ban books and omit parts of history. As AFT President Randi Weingarten shared: “Instead of celebrating and learning from the lived experience of Black Americans, these dividers and extremists are trying to sweep history under the rug, ban books and misrepresent what we teach in our public schools. Teachers are being scared into silence, and students are watching as they and their communities are being ignored.” We cannot be silent nor complicit, and we must continue to speak the truth and take action.
In light of this charge, we’re excited to announce the launch of the BPS Ethnic Studies Resource Center (ESRC) at Frugal Bookstore! The ESRC is a partnership between Boston Public Schools and Frugal Bookstore, spearheaded by BTU member Katie Li and the BTU Ethnic Studies Committee. The curated selection in the bookstore includes children’s books, youth texts, instructional books, historical references and pedagogical resources to strengthen understanding of how to teach ES. Current BPS educators who have taken the foundational Intro to ES training course have full access to the ESRC. Fill out this form to check your eligibility and request full access to the ESRC.
In contract bargaining news, we met with BPS over the break and they made a wages-only proposal. Our silent reps will have more details to share next week. In the meantime, the Contract Bargaining Committee is reconvening with the Contract Organizing Committee tomorrow to go over our contract priorities as we prepare to sit down with the district again.
We’re wishing two of our longtime BTU administrative assistants, Denice Dwyer and Jeannie Turner, a happy and well-deserved retirement! Denice and Jeannie have spent 24 and 40 years with the union, respectively. Thank you both for your hard work and dedication to the teachers of Boston over the last several decades! They will both be greatly missed. However, you will see another familiar face in the BTU office as Michelle Frank joins us as an administrative assistant. We warmly welcome her to the team!
Finally, we would like to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they continue to face attacks orchestrated by an autocratic dictator. To our members with family and friends impacted by the situation in Ukraine, you have our support and we are keeping you all in our thoughts.