We speak with Jesse Hagopian, an editor for ReThinking Schools and a long-time teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. He is a co-editor of the book Teaching for Black Lives. Jesse discusses the groundbreaking annual National Week of Action in February that makes four demands of schools: replace zero tolerance discipline with restorative justice, implement ethnic studies in all schools, hire more black teachers, and fund counselors (rather than police) in all schools. About teachers who “don’t want to get involved” in social justice issues, Jesse quotes Howard Zinn, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” NYC’s UFT is one of the few unions that hasn’t endorsed the Week of Action.
Credit: Kuow Photo/Joshua McNichols