An Open Letter To The White Teachers Who Wore NYPD T-Shirts To School, Despite Being Told Not To

An Open Letter To The White Teachers Who Wore NYPD T-Shirts To School, Despite Being Told Not To

Warned by a United Federation of Teachers official in an email, '(A)s public employees, one must remain objective at all times.
Certain T-shirt messages may appear to be supportive, but individuals (parents, students) may see a different meaning in that message.'

An Open Letter To The White Teachers Who Wore NYPD T-Shirts To School, Despite Being Told Not To

By Tiffanie Drayton | Originally Published at The Frisky. September 5, 2014 | Photograph; Teachers at PS 220 in Queens support the NYPD in defiance of warnings from their union. | Facebook

Dear PS 220 White Teachers Who Wore NYPD T-Shirts To School…

It must have seemed like a fantastic idea when, despite warnings from the United Federation of Teachers, you all donned NYPD shirts and crowded in front of a camera for a smirking group portrait. Through this lens, which is conspicuously White, those matching gray shirts might either be a tone-deaf display of team spirit, or a more troubling reification of how you regard your relationship to the minority student body. Whatever the intention, you have managed to introduce the armed and socially embroiled segment of the judicial system into the classroom in the most polarizing way.

And for that reason, on behalf of your Black and minority student population, which happens to comprise more than 59 percent of your school’s racial demographic, you must be made aware of the fact that this is an egregious offense. Regard this as an educational opportunity; a glimpse at some of the sentiments that boil deep within the Black/minority community when such insensitivity is overtly displayed in a school, of all places.

Allow me to contextualize your actions which have generated such angst and anger within me and many others, including, more than likely, a large number of your students and their parents. On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner was placed in a chokehold by an NYPD officer for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. He said “I can’t breath” before passing out and dying. This was filmed by a citizen journalist and sparked outrage over the unlawful death of the man who leaves behind a wife and six children. Since that date, multiple Black men have been gunned down in the streets by police. Michael Brown was shot and killed by police while holding his hands up in the air, a gesture that conveys surrender/compliance, and sparked a nationwide protest against police brutality. John Crawford was fatally shot in the chest by a police officer inside of a Walmart as he talked to his girlfriend on the phone. Omar Obrego, a father of three, was shot and killed after being pulled over for “driving erratically.” All of these men were unarmed. These of course, are only recent examples. There is a long history of police brutality, and very specifically, NYPD brutality that targets Blacks and minorities. Please, take the time to Google “Stop and Frisk” and Amadou Diallo, because I cannot afford any more time to your obvious ignorance.

In the wake of these tragedies, racial tensions have peaked. Protesters have taken the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, their cries for justice met with militarized force by local police who littered the streets with tear gas and rubber bullets — prompting Palestinians to share much needed information about avoiding and dealing with military/police violence. On the other side of the spectrum of responses, numerous White hate groups, including the KKK, have come out in support of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Mike Brown, raising thousands of dollars for his “cause.” How do your actions fare within this context?

To your Black and Latino students, many of whom must have serious conversations with their parents about safeguarding their person from those charged to serve and protect them — the NYPD — your actions are deeply hurtful. Any remaining innocence they brought with them to the classroom that enabled them to readily accept you, a White person, as a loving, caring, respecting authority figure has been undermined. The relationships students and teachers struggle to build across racial divides can only be maintained when both parties respect one another; their history and most importantly their struggle. It is quite a delicate process that requires objectivity, fairness, empathy and most importantly, sensitivity. Traits and characteristics that you, the “educators” obviously lack based on your outrageous choice to wear those shirts, despite being warned against it by your own union.

Your return to the classroom represents the continued marginalization of minority sentiments sparked from centuries of police terrorism. From today on, when a little Black or Hispanic boy or girl looks to you, his “educator,” it is far less likely he/she will see a nurturer or protector. Instead, that child will look through the lens of his or her “blackness” and see a white woman or man who is more interested in furthering a personal, “White” agenda than protecting them — a little brown boy or girl.

Tiffanie Drayton

[Clutch Mag]
[NY Post]

More By Tiffanie Drayton >>>
Tiffanie Drayton is a freelance writer and graduate of The New School University.

This piece was reprinted by EmpathyEducates with permission or license. We thank the Author, Tiffanie Drayton.

2016-11-29T17:37:38-05:00

43 Comments

  1. Lisa September 9, 2014 at 9:43 PM - Reply

    Good for those teachers to support the NYPD–and I say this as a veteran, 25-year teacher. Stop all of the liberal whining. Go NYPD!

    • BX2DaDeath September 10, 2014 at 3:50 AM - Reply

      Get real, Lisa.
      25 years as a teacher and you support the occupying force known as the NYPD.
      Shame on you.

    • Ms R December 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM - Reply

      Glad you never taught any of my children Lisa! Wake up and smell the coffee lady! Mr Garner was MURDERED by the NYPD! If it was your unarmed child that this happened to, I’m sure u would be singing a different tune!

    • jenean December 12, 2014 at 12:06 AM - Reply

      Well, i tnink it was a slap in the face to every minority child that had a glimmer of hope that all white people aren’t bad. These children will never look at those teachers in the same light again. Children aren’t dumb. At the end of the day, they will now look at those teachers and say, Somebody that looks like you , murdered someone that looks like me.”

  2. Mary September 10, 2014 at 7:52 AM - Reply

    I support the NYPD but do not support what happened to Eric Garner. Nor, do I support a group to teachers using elementary school kids & their parents as receivers of their political, social, or religious beliefs they are suppose to leave them at the school yard gates. As a white parent, having to drop my kid off in such an environment would make me feel unsafe those teachers are using subliminal bullying to alter my kids belief system. I wish black parents would speak out more, especially from that school.

    • KSu1960 September 11, 2014 at 8:46 PM - Reply

      Thank you for your courageous comments!

    • nelson December 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM - Reply

      Right on Mary I wish more people would think you not only white people but all people, the problem is not the police department itself but certain individuals in it, I’m am hispanic and from NY and I’ve been on both sides of the law, I know there are good cops as well as bad cops but something has to give, they needs to be consequences for the ones who are out there hiding behind there badge and getting away with murder and brutality, the same way you or I would be dealt with

    • kyra December 5, 2014 at 8:39 AM - Reply

      I’m so glad to see that you understand this impacts all children, not just black kids. And yes, you can support the police and still not condone certain actions. Wrong is wrong period. As a mother of a black boy it is refreshing when others just look at the situation honestly. Thank you!

    • Lisa December 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM - Reply

      Mary, thank you for empathizing. Often times when black people do speak up, they are ignored or looked upon as “whiners” as the gentleman stated above. Black people need some white voices who are just as outraged to speak up for us at this time. My father retired from the police department after 27 years.(Lieutenant) I respect the police but the NYPD got this one and quite a few others, horribly wrong and so did the teachers.

    • JenQu December 10, 2014 at 8:25 PM - Reply

      Hear hear!

  3. Mary September 10, 2014 at 7:59 AM - Reply

    PS I put ‘what happened to Eric Garner’, that sounds a little removed from his untimely murder & I should have put I do not support five police officers strangling Eric Garner while trying to arrest him for a misdemeanor which is actually a ticketed offense.

  4. TCliff September 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Put in a chokehold because he was selling loose cigarettes?! Really!? Putting someone in a chokehold means you already have determined that they are unarmed, so what, he might yell at you or hit you or what?! I support police officers who do their job for ALL people…but will not support any police officer, by way of ignorance or prejudice, who acts based on race. These teachers are insensitive to their students and just wrong. smh

  5. suzanne September 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    perceptions are everything.we all have different experiences .imagine to your unknown assumptions that the woman in the 2 nd row 3rd left had a mother who was resuscitated by a NYPD hmmm then what?

    • nelson December 4, 2014 at 3:28 PM - Reply

      It doesn’t matter, it’s in bad taste, for gods sake they are at work, with children who for all you know parent could have been a victim of police brutality

  6. Welby September 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM - Reply

    What a remarkably ridiculous stance to take, especially given the name of the site hosting your letter: Empathy Educates. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Where in your open letter do you even attempt to understand the feelings and motivations that gave rise to these teachers’ display? Did you stop to consider that perhaps one or more of them have husbands, wives, brother, sisters, or parents who are members of the NYPD? Did you consider the fact that it’s possible to show support for the organization while reviling the problem officers? No. Instead you take the position that all NYPD officers are by default racist thugs who apparently only wake up each morning to find new minorities to abuse. You take the position that there is no possible way that the students in this school can or should view the NYPD with anything but distrust and suspicion. Please explain how that is going to help anyone, much less the kids you claim to be so concerned about? Not all police officers are bad. In general, they are people just like you. In general, police officers want to do their job, get their paycheck, and live their lives, just like you. Unlike you, however, the job they do is far dirtier, dangerous, and productive than being a mediocre journalist who can’t see past her own racism.

    • Steve September 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM - Reply

      Really Welby!?? And how are these Teachers then suppose to retain discipline in the class room when they themselves are above School policy. What reason can they give a child who wants to wear clothing supporting whatever they are passionate about? Will it be then, perhaps because the students are inferior that they must be subjected to “do what the Teacher says but not what the Teacher does?” That is the real issue here. these Teachers are poor excuses for adults, much less educators.

      • kyra December 5, 2014 at 8:46 AM - Reply

        Exactly, Steven! They’d be the first ones to reprimand a student for breaking a rule despite doing the same thing themselves.

    • empathy September 10, 2014 at 4:26 PM - Reply

      Dear Welby…

      I am forever fascinated by the use of the word “empathy” to attack. Empathy, we believe, grows through conversation. None of us can ever know what another believe unless or until we open our hearts and our minds to education. We listen. A true education is borne through conversation. We can never truly trust what we see, think, feel or believe. As repeated research revels and as Psychologist, Nobel and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Kahneman, Author of “Thinking Fast and Slow” so eloquently espoused, “What You See Is All There Is (WYSIATI).”

      As the Author states, “Whatever the intention, …” She invites the teachers, you and me…. To learn we must listen with open ears. Condemnation is but an emotional exclamation. Our exasperation is a reflection of what we feel. It is not an intellectualization. It is human – humans are predictably irrational. It is easier to attack a person or place than it is to “see” what we do in our daily deeds.

      “The heat of the moment is a powerful, dangerous thing. We all know this….But….

      That said, I think it essential to realize that Physics lives. For every action there is an equal and opposing reaction. ~ Newton’s Third Law of Motion…or is it emotion. The Author does not implicate or incriminate an individual police person. She invites the educators to consider our history, past and present. Be it polices that we question or our own practices, she, as we hope this is an opportunity to learn a lesson. To empathize is to be willing to walk in the others’ moccasins. EmpathyEducates.

    • Bob George September 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM - Reply

      Dearest Welby: For me Tiffanie was not saying all NYPD are corrupt or racist or anything of the sort. Rather she spoke to the use of symbols in the lives of young people and the impact they can have on their well-being. Far too often young people of color see and experience acts that threaten the well being of their family, brothers and sisters friends and relatives while going about routine daily life in their community. This is often at the hands of the police. To have all of the people who are persons of authority [teachers] in the place that is suppose to be their safe and sane place [school] away from home endorse a group of people [NYPD] who often bring harm to friends and family is at the least insensitive and destructive to the sense of safety and serenity. It is this lack of compassion and empathy that the teachers exhibited which Tiffanie finds deep offense at… as do I.

    • Brian December 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM - Reply

      Its always amazing when people avoid facts to promote their own agenda. So many white people blindly support the police in any situation regardless of the outcome, though I am certain their attitude would be wholly different if they or their loved ones were the ones in videos that constantly show a variety of police officers abusing their power & then getting away with it. It is people such as yourself who give strength to things like “the blue wall of silence.” Someone tried to tell me I can’t condemn all officers, which I personally have never done, however, when virtually all cops, regardless to how heinous the act, do NOT police themselves. This goes from fellow officers on the beat to their higher ups. As for the teachers in this picture, I have worked in Unions before & it is common policy to not overtly take sides in political issues for fear of alienating anyone or making others uncomfortable. There are plenty of other ways to make a statement about supporting the NYPD. These teachers broke the rules to make a statement. They were specifically told NOT to do what they did & they then did it rather defiantly. What is even worse is that they did this in an environment littered in young impressionable minds, many of whom come from homes of parents who were probably emotionally affected by the grand jury decision. Bottom line is, there is a time & a place for everything & THIS was certainly not the proper place & the worst time to make such a statement. If I was a parent of a student at the school, I would remove my child from the school until I was able to sit down with both an administrator & at least one teacher from the group, preferably whomever it was that organized this stunt. If I did not get what I wanted from the situation I would either permanently remove my child from the school or have my child write, in their own words, how seeing what the teachers did made them feel. Perhaps hearing it from a child would resonate with these clueless individuals. They broke a rule after being told directly not to. That is the 1st issue that should be addressed by their own union. Next is reminding them that as they blatantly broke a rather simple rule, Eric Garner broke a law or rule that was a ticketed offense & ended up gaving his life for it. By the same unbalanced hypocrisy, should these teachers then be made to lose something as valuable as their lives in response to their blatant disregard for the by-laws by which they are sworn to? Of course not, but perhaps in the future a little more understanding of the entire issue & its impact on others before attempting to show some form of solidarity.

  7. Stan September 10, 2014 at 9:06 PM - Reply

    I am a white teacher who, if one were available, would have also worn a NYPD shirt in support of our police for the first day of school. Why does everyone always seems to forget that these teachers acted in support of the NYPD, possibly members of their own families, when their own Union leader, Michael Mulgrew, made a personal decision to take the UFT, a professional organization, and indicate support that he did not have power to do so for, to walk with Al Sharpton in a protest march against the police officers who were involved with the Eric Garner matter. Eric Garner was resisting arrest when those said police officers were required to bring him down under control. Eric Garner was not a small man so that it could easily be presumed that he could pose a physical problem to those same said officers. If the students you mentioned, either black or brown, had questions about the why it occurred, it seems likely, from you message, that you might “conveniently” not mention that part. An easy explanation would be a teaching tool also, about how resisting arrest is a problem with the black and brown communities in these situations. You then mention the Michael Brown issue, where it has been shown that he was not the angel he was initially portrayed to be, nor was he holding his hands up, unless you want to count their location as he was charging the police officer who was shooting him while being charged by a 6’4″ 300lb man. Again, an opportunity for the teacher, be it white or black, to talk to their students about following the laws as they are written and posted, not stealing then charging/bull rushing someone telling to stop and freeze….

    • Francis September 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM - Reply

      This comment scares me the most. It is seemingly written with calmness and rationality, but proves to show the subtleness of every bit of the current racial contempuousness.

    • Brian December 4, 2014 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      Its so funny how people such as yourself just breeze past the issue of them blatantly disregarding rules for their own agendas. The union put such policies in place to avoid THIS EXACT TYPE OF SITUATION!! As per the norm from people such as yourself, one set of people disregarding rules is ok but not others. Its sickening & upsetting how cavalier you can describe 2 young Black men being killed as though they deserved to lose their lives. The teachers did exactly as the police officers in Eric Garners death did, they blatantly disregarded a policy that was put in place to protect others from harm be it emotional or physical. THAT however is unimportant to people such as yourself even though in Eric Garner’s case the fact that the officer used a tactic that is specifically described as being incorrect & the wrong way to subdue ANY suspect, even one who had committed a ticketed offense, because it doesn’t support your opinions or view. I won’t bother with trying to explain to someone like yourself the weight & pressure of the constant harassment the black & brown communities face from many officers who choose to use the laws & their power for things other than keeping the peace. Much like yourself, many of these officers are scared & therefore should NOT be in the position of authority they are in. It is attitudes such as yours, these teachers & all those (mostly white people) who blindly support the NYPD in everything they do as if they somehow are a misunderstood collection of great caring people. Not all police officers are bad, but you would have to be the biggest fool in the world to actually believe that all of them are good. That is way more dangerous than viewing them as all bad.

      • kyra December 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM - Reply

        Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve read more than one of your responses and they perfectly state what I feel, but am not able to communicate in writing nearly as well.

  8. MCoop September 11, 2014 at 12:08 AM - Reply

    Stan, you mean tell students to trust police and stop and freeze with hands up like Michael Brown did? Some NYPD are good, productive, decent, serve-and-protect focused cops. But needing to subdue a suspect does not justify choke holds or choking someone to death. I’m surprised that you seem to believe that all kids of color have to do is behave correctly when approached by police and everything will be fine. Even when these kids DO behave correctly, they are harassed anyway. My bottom line in that you can believe whatever you want, be angry at your union all you want, but don’t bring it into the school and the classroom and punish children to make your point. That’s essentially what these teachers were doing and it is irresponsible and immature. What kind of dialogue is anyone going to have with such an inflammatory and insensitive approach? Their choice made no sense in the context of how the children would view the shirt. Imagine what shirt your family might find offensive, Stan (based on your politics, religion, beliefs). Now imagine a teacher wearing it in front of your child all day. Those teachers could wear NYPD shirts at an offsite teacher cook out or rally, but not to school. My parents are both teachers and so I know what sensitive, smart, compassionate, aware teaching looks like. I would be worried about little boys and girls of color in your classroom if you thought it was AOK to wear an NYPD shirt to school. In my humble, empathetic point of view, it would not be a way to have an open, respectful dialogue with people of color. It would be saying to them “I support the NYPD, regardless of what they do to you.”

  9. empathy September 11, 2014 at 12:58 AM - Reply

    Dear All…

    Please ponder the veracity, Empathy Educates. Political, personal and words of physical attack – ad hominem is that. These will not be published at EmpathyEducates.

    We invite a caring, calm, conversation, one that addresses the issues and shares information. We understand emotional reactions. These are not actions [love]. Reactions [anger] reflect our fear and our pain. If we are to learn, express concern, or offer comments, let us never forget…EmpathyEducates.

    Let us learn from history…The Truce of Christmas, 1914

  10. godblessamerica September 11, 2014 at 9:14 PM - Reply

    I think they should all wear FDNY, NYPD, etc. shirts to support all brave men and women who gave their time, and their lives, to the victims of the Twin Towers attacks on September 11, 2001. Those people are heroes. It gives me chills just thinking about the moment I first heard the news. I’m sure you all remember what it was like to stand frozen in front of the tv screen, or in front of your office window if you worked in NYC or NJ by the river, or even on the street or for some of you, in the buildings where the attacks occurred. I know this isn’t really what this post is about, but the victims and families affected, and all Americans, are on my mind and in my heart today especially, and I just wanted to say something.

    • Spence December 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM - Reply

      Ok I understand that, but wear them on September 11th if that was the purpose.

  11. Mary September 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM - Reply

    The UFT did not have the right to support Al Sharpton’s march . The extra $ I contributed to the union from my paycheck twice a month goes for lobby UFT isdues. My money was used to support this action for which was Mulgrew’s agenda not mine.
    With all that said, there are bad cops and bad teachers but leave it up to individual members to rally not a union.

    • Tara September 16, 2014 at 8:03 PM - Reply

      Unions have always been political bodies. They lobby for both the interests of their professional members, and act on principles related to the profession. These may include social justice values, or the promotion of interests that coincide with their’s. The achievement of a state free of police violence, especially violence excessively directed at minorities, coincides with both. Like it or not, most professional bodies representing members that work directly with people tend to have progressive values.

  12. Eric September 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM - Reply

    Yeah, Garner was put in a choke hold for resisting arrest, not for selling cigarettes.

    You probably also think Brown was shot for stealing cigars or jaywalking, right?

  13. nelson December 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM - Reply

    And people seem to forget the police officers on the scene did not allow the paramedics to work on garner after he passed out

  14. Jarvis December 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM - Reply

    It’s sad that these group of teachers, out of anything they could support, they decided such a controversial group as the NYPD to support. It was in bad timing after so many are hurt over the injustice. If they wanted to support a cause, how about a T-Shirt that supports prayer in these hard times. How about one that says “In God We Trust.” But that would be improper, because who wants to support morals and the Good in man.

  15. Andy Whaley December 7, 2014 at 12:51 PM - Reply

    That letter is wrong on 3 parts. First, if “minorities” comprise more than 50% of your student body they are not minorities. They are the majority.

    Eric Garner resisted arrest. The video evidence supports that . He was told he was under arrest, and failed to comply with the officer placing him under arrest verbal commands. Next the officer attempted with open hands to subdue Mr. Garner. When he did so Mr. Garner jerked away away from the officer, and escalated the force level by yelling and aggressively stomping his feet. The officer behind him then placed him in a choke hold. While being well within the parameters of the escalation of force guidelines, the choke hold he used to subdue Mr. Garner contradicts his training.

    Lastly, none of the evidence; NONE of the evidence that was presented to the grand jury in Ferguson, MO suggests that Michael Brown was “holding his hands up”. There were eyewitness accounts that suggests that the officer that shot Mr. Brown was being assaulted when the first shots were fired.

    Having had a father involved in law enforcement, and bing in law enforcement myself I find it appalling that these “rebel rousers” would rather incite violence, rioting, looting, and protests that impedes the lives of thousands of people to get their point across instead of addressing the real issue here. Educating people on how and why you behave certain ways in the presence of officers. Instead of standing up for the men and women who serve their communities by wearing that shield and protecting them, there are groups of people whom would rather side with those who, when examining the evidence shown by the media would more than likely be guilty of committing a crime. These people protesting are continuing a curse that will likely never be broken. They are creating an atmosphere of turmoil and chaos that benefits no one.

    Furthermore I’d like to call into question the writer of this letter’s education. What is, and where is The New School University?

    • Betsy L. Angert December 7, 2014 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      Dearest Andy Whaley…

      I was curious when I read your thought that and I quote, “None of the evidence; NONE of the evidence that was presented to the grand jury in Ferguson, MO suggests that Michael Brown was “holding his hands up.” That was not my memory, although I am always happy to admit that my memory may be in error. In a desire to learn, I went searching. I found countless accounts that speak to inconsistencies in witnesses reporting.

      I share first from Fox News, What the grand jury heard: Ferguson witness accounts differ from story on street | http://fxn.ws/1zpRudB
      From The New York Times Raised Hands, and the Doubts of a Grand Jury http://nyti.ms/1FGgq2H

      Granted in his Press Conference, St. Louis County Prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, chose to only mention the witness who did not believe he saw Michael Brown with his “hands up.” Nonetheless…[with apologies for the spelling. The words are taken from the actual transcript.]

      The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the testimony and evidence presented to the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Clicking a document link will open a new window.
      From one of the innumerable pages of the Grand Jury transcript, I offer what was “presented.” Among what is seen are witness statements …http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1370840-14-43984-care-main.html

      • “Then He Threw His Hands Up & yelled ok ok ok ok ok A Police Officer (who said nothing) emped his gun into The guy ..”
      • “man stumbleing away from the officer and turn with hands raised yelling ok! Ok!”
      • “Paramedic said he and his partner, Paramedic were dispatched to the scene on Canfield Drive. When they arrived, P.O. Darren Wilson was not at the scene, and they proceeded to a staging area. “…”After contacting all three sets of paramedics who had involvement with this incident, it was determined none of them assisted P.O. Darren Wilson in washing the blood off his hand and arms.”
      • “could hear the officer yell, “Down, Down!” The subject stopped and turned toward the officer. He put his hands in the air for approximately 1-2 seconds. “

      I do wonder about characterizations within the comment…

      As for your query about The New School, a quick search engine investigation reveals that The New School was founded 1919. Graduates include the First Lady and United Nations Human Rights Prize recipient Eleanor Roosevelt. Shimon Peres, President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient…Tennessee Williams, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Jack Kerouac, On the Road, forerunner of the Beat Generation,, James Baldwin, writer Go Tell It on the Mountain[”

      I offer a bit of The New School history..

      The New School was founded in New York City nearly a century ago by a small group of prominent American intellectuals and educators, among them Charles Beard, John Dewey, James Harvey Robinson, and Thorstein Veblen. Frustrated by the intellectual timidity of traditional colleges, they envisioned a new kind of academic institution where faculty and students would be free to address honestly and directly the problems facing societies in the 20th century.

      Oh, may we all learn from the problems facing society.

      May life bring you peace, prosperity, pleasant dreams being the best and your reality…Betsy

  16. noel December 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM - Reply

    You say – “Michael Brown was shot and killed by police while holding his hands up in the air, a gesture that conveys surrender/compliance, and sparked a nationwide protest against police brutality.”

    Actually, no, he was not. Your whole letter is now negated because you cant stick to real facts.

  17. Bob December 8, 2014 at 4:08 PM - Reply

    Noel. The actual testimony from several grand jury witnesses affirms that Michael Brown had his hands up. The DA choose to only focus on one witness when he spoke of the Grand Jury testimony. The transcripts the Associated Press has obtained a copy of the testimony and evidence presented to the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Clicking a document link will open a new window.
    From one of the innumerable pages of the Grand Jury transcript, I offer what was “presented.” Among what is seen are witness statements …http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1370840-14-43984-care-main.html

    “Then He Threw His Hands Up & yelled ok ok ok ok ok A Police Officer (who said nothing) emped his gun into The guy ..”
    “man stumbleing away from the officer and turn with hands raised yelling ok! Ok!”.

    However regardless of hands up or not…why is it alright to shot and kill a person whose offense was stealing some cheap cigars and perhaps be disrespectful.

    Why do police feel it is okay to treat a minor crime with deadly force? There were many ways to deescate the situation… instead a gun was used to resolve the situation that could have been dealt with wu=ithout the need to end a life!!!

  18. Joe December 9, 2014 at 8:42 PM - Reply

    THIS PHOTO WAS CLEARLY TAKEN IN THE SUMMER, NOT RECENTLY. Isn’t the other author and others bubbling up this photo just for attention and sensationalism given the recent court decisions and racial tensions?

    • empathy December 9, 2014 at 9:02 PM - Reply

      Dear Joe…

      As you can see, the Author penned and published the article on September 5, 2014. At the time, as any of us might, she shared her thoughts in respect to what happened. I believe we can never assume another’s intention, and when we assume more often than not, we are in error. Assumptions are, all too frequently, if not customarily, in the eyes of the beholder. We believe Empathy Educates. Alan Alda invites each of us to consider novel possibilities.

      Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won’t come in.”

  19. Yolanda Hill December 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM - Reply

    I’ve been teaching for 37 years, and I definitely would not want any of my children in these white teachers’ classes!!!

    • Robert Williams December 13, 2014 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Yolanda Hill, SOMEONE needs to be teaching these young kids to obey the law (and yes, that includes police officers). If Michael Brown/Eric Garner has just simply obeyed the policemen, both would be alive today. Obviously the parent ARE NOT teaching them anything.

  20. Gina Kamentsky December 14, 2014 at 8:56 AM - Reply

    I have been teaching for 27 years and this boggles my mind. Teachers Job: Care deeply about your students, present yourself as a compassionate person with an ability to question and self-examine. the classroom does not belong to you, it is a shared space where you lead and respond to your students needs, not the other way around.

  21. William December 16, 2014 at 1:36 PM - Reply

    The NYPD is a racially mixed, upstanding organization, whose members put their lives on the line for the public’s safety. They deserve support from teachers, students, and everyone. Any public safety program or organization deserves attention and ongoing improvement, but the men and women of the NYPD deserve our respect. Ms. Drayton’s article does not deserve our attention or respect.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.