Teachers in Seattle exposed students to the Black Lives Matter movement by wearing shirts with the slogan to class on Wednesday, as part of a “day of unity” aimed at bringing attention to racial equality in education, the Seattle Times reported.
Schools across the district held “Black Lives Matter at School” rallies before class, and students, parents, and teachers wore stickers and buttons emblazoned with the slogan. The event was not sponsored by the school district, but the “day of unity” was. In a statement, the district said it asked students, family, staff, and community members to “engage and join the conversation in our united efforts to eliminate opportunity gaps.”
As a public institution, the school district does not take official positions on social or political movements.
Perhaps the largest meeting happened outside Chief Sealth International High School, where dozens of educators and students gathered to hold up banners and signs. About 60 teachers at the school had ordered Black Lives Matter shirts beforehand. The rally took place Wednesday morning, and was not an official event, so teachers were told to leave before students started arriving for school.
Members of the Black Student Union (BSU) nevertheless remained until the start of classes. Seventeen-year-old BSU President Precious Manning said the rally and shirts represented the international school coming together in solidarity.
“Black Lives Matter means ‘don’t leave us out,'” she told the Seattle Times. She insisted that the movement aims to make sure everyone is included.
Next Page: Does it include everyone?
The difficulty is, Black Lives Matter has not just inspired peaceful protests about police violence. Most activists may be peaceful, but many of their protests have broken out into violent riots. During those riots, white people have been targeted for the color of their skin. Some Black Lives Matter graffiti also included the slogan “Kill white people.” A man claiming to be the brother of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man killed by a black cop in Charlotte, declared, “All white people are f***in’ devils!”
Children should not be exposed to this movement without their parents’ permission. But parents also need to know that public schools are featuring Black Lives Matter in the classroom. It is important for mothers and fathers to explain political movements like this one at home — before the school presents racial ideas which have increased division across the nation.
Don’t get me wrong, Black Lives Matter does have legitimate concerns. But the issue is not clear-cut, especially when these riots are taken into account. Children should learn to treat people equally, regardless of their race, and the movement can impede that important lesson.