Thousands of teachers in Seattle showed solidarity with their black students by wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts on Thursday.
“We have the fifth-largest opportunity gap between our African-American and our white students in the country,” Phyllis Campano, the president of the Seattle Education Association told ABC News today, “So we know, as educators, that we need to show our kids that we believe in them, and we set high expectations for them.”
“It’s not really about Black Lives Matter as a movement, but about how black lives matter in our schools,” Campano said, “it is not about the t-shirts, it is about how we support our students of color in our community.”
Campano teachers in about 80 schools wore the shirts, and held workshops on social issues dealing with racism and civil rights.
“With our scores on education being put out there, everyone keeps saying we are failing the black kids in our community,” Campano said, “What do we need to do? We need to come together, we need to show support.”
But not everyone agreed with their shirts. A law enforcement group, Blue Lives Matter, wrote in a statement on its website that they disagreed with the “political message” that is being promoted in schools.
“The t-shirts were a catalyst to the conversation, and the conversation in our schools is how do we make education better for our children of color? It should be a national conversation,” Campano said.