Friday, February 17, 2017

Getting Real with Current Events

I typically don't get involved in politics.  I hate politics.  I think they are corrupt and the TV show Scandal is an accurate depiction of our government.  I sat here trying to process my thoughts.  I hovered over the publish button many times without actually clicking it, but I just can't be silent any more.

I work in a school.  My job is to listen to the stories that kiddos are willing to share.  I advocate for relationships every single day.  I try to be the best example of love and kindness to all in my school building.  I have mounds of paperwork that I push aside daily to respond to students in crisis, to go into classrooms, to be present, to show my face, to smile at that kid who really needs it. The vast majority of what I see and hear is confidential, not only to protect my students, keep their trust, but to hold their stories precious and valuable.  These stories are not mine to tell.

This, though, I will share.

Thursday, the majority of my school population was absent.  53%.  It was eerie and quiet. My heart is broken in so many pieces.  My students didn't come to school that day in protest but underneath it all they are scared.

They are scared that they will come home to a raided house and no parents.  They are scared their families will get ripped apart.  They are terrified to go to an unknown place that they have only heard stories of.  They are scared to go out in their communities and to talk to anyone out of fear of giving something away.  They are terrified to even come to school.

School. The safest place they know. Isn't even safe anymore. And worst of all I can't say anything to assure them of their safety.  I can't even protect my students.  I have nothing to say to make it better.  No words of encouragement.  No fun catch phrase about being kind or doing the right thing.

Only the acknowledgement that I was born with an incredible privilege.  I have no idea what it is like to have the fears that my students have.  I can only validate that it is indeed terrifying. I can't even imagine. I cried the other day in my office with two 5th grade boys also in tears expressing concerns they had.  I felt incredibly helpless.  These students look to me for help.  In these moments I can only tell them that there are some people who look like me who actually care about them and want them here.  These kiddos are so important.  My job is to ensure that every student knows they matter.

These students matter. This community matters.  Culture matters.  Immigrants matter.

I can, do something, I realized.  I can use the incredible privilege and position that I have to advocate for the populations that can't speak for themselves.  I can speak up.  I can use the gifts I have been given, specifically writing to make these issues known.  I can educate myself on politics and policy - even though it makes me cringe - because my students are important to me.

No one should have to question whether tomorrow they will have to be stripped from everything they know and thrown into more trauma.  No one deserves to live a life in fear.

I did not write this to get involved in politics or policy. I wrote this because being at a school on Thursday with an empty building felt wrong.  Listening to my kiddos bravely open up and share their very real concerns feels wrong.  I don't know what the answer is, but I do know this is real, this is now and my job is to advocate for the most underrepresented population who can't speak for themselves; children. Their innocence is shattered and that is not okay.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...