MPS “Black Lives Matter at School” Week of Action Kicks Off

Students at King Elementary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin pose for a photo at their school’s “Black Lives Matter at School” kick-off event on Monday (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) membership voted unanimously to endorse the National “Black Lives Matter at School” Week of Action at the January Representative Assembly. The week of action, which was inspired by 2017 campaigns by educators in Seattle and Philadelphia has gone nationwide this year. The goal is to send a strong message to our students that their lives matter and that their future has a purpose. Here is the resolution that was passed unanimously:

            Whereas the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association has been a local leader in passing Black Lives Matter initiatives at the school and local level;

            Whereas zero tolerance policies and over-policing of our Black and Brown youth has proven to be ineffective in the reduction of discipline, and Restorative Practices has proven to be a powerful tool in the reduction of disproportionate discipline;

            Be it resolved that MTEA supports the national Black Lives Matter at School Week from February 5th to February 11th, 2018 and encourages its members to wear Black Lives Matter shirts during the week and teach lessons that address the School-to-Prison pipeline, Black women empowerment, Black LGBTQ community and Black History.

MTEA was invited to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary and Rufus King International High School on Monday for the two school’s kick-off events. Check out some of the photos and video we captured from those two powerful events.

King Elementary students were welcomed to their kick-off with student drumming (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

MTEA member and King Elementary teacher Angela Harris organized her school’s kick-off (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Students recited their school’s key principles which King Elementary entitles their “Kingian Values” (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

King Elementary students engage in their kick-off event activities (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

The King Elementary “Kingian Values” (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

A group of students at Rufus King International High School kicked off the week of action constructing this Black Lives Matter display on their school fence line out of disposable drinking cups (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Students add the final exclamation point to their message (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

A final photo in front of their message (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

End the School-to-Prison pipeline (Photo credit: Joe Brusky).

 

We will continue to feature events happening in MPS around this week of action on our public Facebook and Twitter accounts so be sure to check back and share the great work MTEA members are engaging in to positively affirm and publicly support our students.

Week of Action Updates:

French Immersion students were busy Wednesday creating an all-school banner for the #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool national week of action. The completed banner will be used for an all school gathering with parents and community Friday. 

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

On Tuesday, students and staff at Rufus King High School wore the faces of victims of police brutality. We cannot forget the names and reasons for why we’re acting to positively affirm and publicly support our students.
Thanks to MTEA executive board member and Rufus King teacher Kelly O’Keefe-Boettcher for sending this powerful photo of her with her students.

Photo credit: Kelly O’Keefe Boettcher

Rufus King staff and students met and mapped out activities for the entire week.

Photo credit: Kelly O’Keefe Boettcher

The staff at Golda Meir – Lower Campus wore their new MTEA Black Lives Matter t-shirts to school Wednesday. Thanks for standing strong for your students!

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

What a beautiful sight! Check out the staff of Samuel Clemens wearing their Black Lives Matter shirts at school Wednesday.

Wedgewood educators wore their shirts on Wednesday!

Photo credit: Julie Meyer

The staff of Congress School proudly wore their #BlackLivesMatter shirts for their students Thursday. Thank you!

Photo credit: Joe Brusky

MTEA member and Douglass School art teacher John Fleissner worked with his students on a project for the week of action.

Hawthorne School staff holding it down for their students on Thursday (Photo credit: Hawthorne educator Arnold Branch).

The work of MTEA members has not gone unrecognized as Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza tweeted her support and the Washington Post also highlighted MTEA’s work.


Teaching resources, including lessons for the week of action can be found here.

MTEA Black Lives Matter t-shirts can be ordered for local pick-up at the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association office.

#BlackLivesMatter at School Kick-Off in MPS from MTEA Union on Vimeo.