Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Kevin Courtney's letter to NUT members on Trump protests

Dear colleagues,

As you will be aware many of our members have joined the protests around the country against Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the US from seven countries which have a majority Muslim population.

They will have joined those demonstrations as individuals but also as teachers they will be acutely concerned about the message this action sends to the young people they see every day.

I accepted an invitation to speak at the demonstration outside Downing Street on Monday and have also accepted an invitation to speak at the demonstration in London on Saturday. I have also signed the petition and a letter to the Guardian calling for the invitation of a state visit to be withdrawn.

I believe that Donald Trump’s actions will upset many of the children and families our members serve and have an impact on communities all over the country. I therefore strongly believe that, we must speak out – I do not believe that silence is an option.

When I spoke at Downing Street I said I was representing the biggest teachers union in Europe and wanted to explain why teachers should be involved. I said Trump was no ordinary bad politician – his policies aren’t bad immigration policies and misguided anti-terror policies. Instead his policies are aimed at stoking fear and division.

And it won’t just be migrants from some countries affected. That fear and division will come to every school and every community; so every person of good will needs to speak out. Every teacher needs to be involved – for the sake of our children.

I hope that you will support my decisions with regard to the protests and that you will support any protests that may be happening locally and encourage members to attend.

With best wishes,
Kevin Courtney,
NUT General Secretary

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In 2008 schools and individual teachers celebrated with their pupils the election of Obama pointing out the historical significance of the event and its relevance to their lives as individuals and to the world as a symbol of hope and as an example of the overcoming of social and political obstacles. As the election of Trump is a negative mirror image of all that Obama's election was, is there any reason why tutor time, assemblies and whatever PSHE is called these days should not similarly be given over to Trump's victory and what it implies for matters of ethnicity, gender, equality, social justice, world peace, civilised behaviour etc etc etc?

Mike Hine