As a teacher, a student asked me if she should have an abortion. Without Roe, what would I say? | Opinion

Upon hearing of, and reading, the leaked draft opinion that strikes down the Roe decision, I immediately thought back to the day, many years ago, when one of my students asked to talk. She was pregnant, unplanned. She was terrified [yes?], and asked me if I thought she should have an abortion. My student wasn’t ready to become a mom. The to-be-father was in college and shared with her he wasn’t ready. However, she also respected the gravity terminating a pregnancy. I was the first adult she told.

Celebrating Students In Ways That Solidify Community

If you’re an educator, now is the time to celebrate your students. Celebrating students is always important, but teaching amidst a pandemic requires that educators seek moments to affirm and celebrate students to keep them encouraged. It’s important that we educators do that. It’s a practice that I try to do frequently with my own students, as I am demand the best of them in the classroom. I have the privilege of teaching 25 sophomore students AP U.S. History. As part of their course work, stu

Opinion: Kaepernick’s Persistent Push To Be An NFL Quarterback, Including As A Backup, Raises Questions

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season. September 2022 will mark the sixth season since he was a quarterback on a roster — that is, of course, if he’s not signed by a team. For years, Kaepernick believed he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL. That may well be true. Considering all the horrible quarterback play the last five years, Kaepernick is right. Since being exiled by team owners, Kaepernick has fought for his opportunity to start in the NFL. But now, Kaep

Africana Studies for All

The College Board has created a new AP class for African-American studies. The course will be piloted across twenty different school districts throughout the coming school year throughout the nation. I think this is a really good idea. However, I believe that an African-American studies course should be a non-AP course in addition to being an AP course. One reason is because Black children are underrepresented in advanced placement or gifted classes—although Black children are absolutely capabl

Opinion: How Florida Has Added To Its Racist Education By Subtracting Black People From Math

We have officially reached the point in the critical race theory backlash where they’re now banning math textbooks. The Florida Department of Education rejected 54 math textbooks — 28 of them because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including [critical race theory]” — according to a DOE statement. Of course, Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed this decision, claiming that the proposals from publishing companies contained lessons on “indoctrinating concepts like race essenti

The Thing About Segregation…

Jim Crow segregation in the South and de facto segregation in the north stunted class divisions and fractures amongst Black people. What this means is that while segregation did not wholly prevent such class divisions amongst Black people, Black communities were heterogeneous in terms of class categorization; in other words, those who had money lived in the same neighborhoods and those who did not. Black people within higher economic classes couldn’t move away; not in the ways they can today. H

I Don't Love Your Kids, But I'll Teach Them

I’ve attended my fair share of professional development workshops. I’ve heard a lot of educational colloquialisms, buzz words, and catch phrases shared in those spaces and one such thing I’ve heard facilitators say is for teachers to love students or love on students, as an enhancer for teaching quality. The thought is that teachers best teach their students when they love those students as if they were their own children. I’ve usually heard it said to white teachers who teach Black and Latinx

Opinion: Squeezing All The Daylight Out Of A Lemon, Senate Elects More Daylight Saving Time To Exploit Workers

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on March 15 called the Sunshine Protection Act to make daylight saving time the new, permanent standard time. DST was instituted in 1918 to save energy during World War I. During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted “war time,” a year-round daylight-saving time, to save energy. After the year-round shift ended in 1945, many states adopted their own summertime changes. The U.S. had year-round daylight saving once again in 1973 but returned to reg

Doing Life in the Community Where You Teach

Certainly, remote learning, while not the most optimal of solutions, was necessary to protect student health and safety. But humans are social creatures. Although relationship building can happen remotely, it’s better when it’s in person in order to generate true fellowship with each other. Being back in school buildings allows educators to build relationships even more to support student learning. Teaching and leading, specifically teaching and leading well, is hard work—even more so amid a gl

When Hit Dogs Are Hurt And Holler

Teachers are mad at Neil Degrasse Tyson. Why you ask? Because of a tweet where he called out those teachers who make general statements about student investment in there learn, when it could be that those teachers aren’t invested in students learning. Tyson, an astrophysicist, said in the tweet: “Some educators who are quick to say, ‘These students just don’t want to learn,’ should instead say to themselves, ‘maybe I suck at my job.’” After reading the tweet, I traveled to the comments and wel

Opinion: Stop-And-Frisk Is A More Righteous Cause Than Unvaccinated NBA Players

On March 15, 2022, Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets scored 60 points against the Orlando Magic, a difficult feat, yet possible for Irving who is a superstar basketball talent. It’s no wonder that the Brooklyn Nets want him back on the court full-time. Currently, Irving is playing league games on a part-time basis because he has elected to not get vaccinated. That’s his choice. However, per a New York citywide policy stating that unvaccinated employees cannot work for a city employer, put in pl

Opinion: In A Racist Social Structure, There Are No Mistaken Identities. The Ryan Coogler Arrest Was On Brand

In January of this year, acclaimed film director Ryan Coogler was mistaken for a bank robber. Bank staffers at an Atlanta Bank of American branch mistakenly thought Coogler was staging a robbery, so they called cops, and the “Black Panther” director was detained by police, in handcuffs. Coogler had handed the bank teller a handwritten note on a withdrawal slip that said: “I would like to withdraw $12,000 cash from my checking account. Please do the money count somewhere else. I’d like to be di

Opinion: The War In Ukraine Is About White Domination

Certainly, what’s happening in Ukraine is tragic. Subtract the geopolitical nature of this conflict and what you’ll find is people striving for their survival, both personally and nationally, because of a despot’s desire to return his country to its former glory. I don’t mean to sensationalize what’s happening, but that is certainly happening. I have friends living in Ukraine with their children. They provide updates on Facebook as to their whereabouts, where fighting has taken place and how th

States Have an Obligation to Educate All Students. School Privatization Lets Them off the Hook

Growing up, I was taught by my parents to do the right thing, to be responsible, and to hold myself accountable, values that were reinforced by my grade school teachers in the city of Camden, New Jersey. I often think back to those early lessons as I reflect upon the current state of public education in Camden, where policymakers have chosen to shift the burden of educating the city’s Black and Latinx students to private entities. I am sure those folks would argue the decision to expand school

Teach Black History Better by Learning from Jesus

As a kid, my friends and I believed that the designation Black History Month in February was due to a racist conspiracy because it was the shortest month of the year. Thankfully, I learned as an adult that Dr. Carter G. Woodson chose to designate Negro History Week as the week of Frederick Douglass’ and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays because of the role these men play in the liberation journey of Black people. For Woodson, Black history was as much about the retelling of American history in a cul

Opinion: Being Black Is Good, But It’s Never Enough

I was 25 years old and excited at the possibility of having a Black president. I remember sharing with someone that I was voting for him because he was Black. When they asked why, I said that white presidents had their chance to not be perfect: let a Black president get a chance. At the time, it felt like a sophisticated answer. However, looking back, it seemed more honest than sophisticated. That’s because, over the years, I’ve learned that being Black simply isn’t good enough. To be clear, r

First-Person Singular: Why Schools Must Teach About Racism

Growing up, I attended a small, private Catholic school in Camden, New Jersey. Although the school was different from the local public schools, what I did find to be similar was what was taught about history. Private school kids and public school kids always compared their experiences and the things they learned. I realized quickly that the history I learned wasn’t different from what my public school friends were learning. We were taught that George Washington was heroic, that Abraham Lincoln

Rann Miller: Camden Now Has an Eastside High School — Now What?

The Camden City School District (CCSD) has changed the name of Woodrow Wilson High School to Eastside High School. The name change will be in effect the 2022-2023 school year. I for one believe that it was good for CCSD to change the name of the school. Regarding the renaming of the school… that’s another thing altogether. Others haven’t held back their approval or disapproval of the name change. Many people have joked about the name, referring to the Eastside High of Newark and Lean on Me fam

Opinion: Black People: Don’t Be Disillusioned … A Black Owner Won’t Pay The Dividends You Think

By suing the NFL, Brian Flores has assured himself of never head coaching in the NFL again. However, I believe that Flores is not disillusioned. He himself shared on TV interviews that he was aware of the risk involved with taking the NFL owners to task. I think it’s us, Black folk, who may be disillusioned. We’re not disillusioned about racism in the NFL and the likelihood that Flores will be exiled from the NFL as was Colin Kaepernick. We’re not disillusioned with the reality that NFL owners

How Black Teachers Avoided White Surveillance to Teach the Truth

A few weeks ago, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gave a speech that disregarded the rich history of Indigenous people, saying that [white people] birthed a nation from nothing. It is this very thing, what W.E.B. DuBois termed the propaganda of history, which led Dr. Carter G. Woodson to create the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Much like Santorum, the “scholars” of Woodson’s time, some who taught him while at Harvard, believed that Black people of
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