I am going because I feel as though I am on a mission that chose me and I am simply one of the vessels to help it reach its destination.
I am going because I watch my sons watch me. I see them examine the choices I make. I see them watching me refuse to back down and demand the truth out of all that life brings forth. I cannot let them down.
I am going because I have been told all of my years of teaching to simply “shut my door.” Simply shut my door and do what is right for children. This is not enough. I open my door wide. I scream to the world what I am doing for these children - I scream that I am giving them what they are rightfully owed – a whole and equitable education. I scream to the world that I am allowing them to make choices, give input, become a part of their learning experience and become empowered by their voice and their ability to make a difference in this world. I do so because it is the truth and because it is important to model for other women who have spent their lives believing they must stay quiet, be agreeable, and do as they are told. I am not one of those women and deep down, no women are that way – I hope to help them find their voices.
I am going because my community around me is dying on the vine. And there are a few fellow activists here working with me to determine how to make the vine grow – not just upward – but outward and inward and in ways that were never imagined before in the public schools. We have hopes to not only preserve public schools but improve them and create democratic schools - which is what should have existed all along.
I am going because I am surrounded by the truth. I cannot turn from it. And I am determined to expose it and wake the masses up. I am determined to help those who cannot speak for themselves – the children, the families, and the educators who live in fear of losing their jobs.
I am going because I have seen too many children harmed by these mandates. I remember them. I wonder what happened to them. And I wonder what else I could have done to help them.
I am going because I selfishly need to surround myself by those whom I consider to be a part of my community. I need their support, their guidance, their knowledge and their love.
I am going because every time I speak to a fellow activist I find myself growing a bit stronger – and this strength turns to action.