Association News

JeffCo Educators React to Domestic Terrorism in Charlottesville, VA

Aug 16, 2017

August 15, 2017


We must help our students put this violence in context and counter the hate filled rhetoric of white supremacists.

Lakewood – The Jefferson County Education Association calls on school districts across Colorado to take an unequivocal stand against the hateful messages from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and others who exhibited their hateful attitudes this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The fact that the death of a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was heralded and defended by white supremacist groups demonstrates how important it is for all of us to take a clear position against this bigotry and hate speech.

After 9-11 educators were called upon to help their students process the event, and try to explain to students what had happened. The domestic terrorism of this past weekend requires similar efforts. Age-appropriate materials are available to help students understand the events, and to articulate that racist ideas are un-American and will not be tolerated in schools.

Educators at all levels need to speak up and engage their students in age-appropriate discussions about American values, and the history of white supremacist ideology and Nazism. Reasonable people can disagree about various political positions, but there is only one response to these hateful acts and rhetoric: it is un-American and will not be tolerated.

John Ford, Social Studies teacher and President of JCEA, stated, “as a parent, an educator, a person of faith, and a proud American, I ask the educators and school districts of Colorado to stand up against the actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other terrorist organizations wherever they surface and to provide age-appropriate materials to help our students understand and process these events.”

Jeffco Public Schools has already begun to create materials for teachers to use across the district. All school districts should take leadership on this issue.