A statement from Texas AFT President Zeph Capo on the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Additional resources for responding to this moment are below.
Yesterday was a disturbing day in the history of our country. I am deeply saddened by the actions that ripped at the very seams of our democracy. It must be especially confusing to our students, who see images of mobs of people storming our nation’s Capitol in the middle of a pandemic that already has brought so much pain to our communities. Many political leaders also have ignored the most basic safety precautions — like masking and distancing — that we have stressed to our students.
As educators, we have a duty to ensure our students are never certain of our personal feelings regarding political matters. I admit this has always been difficult for me. We teach because we hold deep beliefs in public service, and our values are as much a part of our teaching as pedagogical and subject matter expertise.
You likely will encounter many questions regarding yesterday’s events, but allowing space for student expression, understanding, and processing current events is healthy. We also know it can be tricky, which is why we are sharing tools that provide opportunities to guide constructive conversations. Hopefully, they will help our students be better prepared to take their place in civic discourse, a discourse that is healthier and more productive than some of the displays we have seen of late.
I am hopeful that better days are before us. A peaceful transfer of power will happen. We must be prepared to hold new leaders accountable to their promises and continue our mission to uplift our profession and demand the respect we deserve as public educators from those in power here in our state — or truly commit to putting others in power who will.
Texas AFT President
Responding to the Moment
- AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to Congressional Certification of the 2020 Presidential Election, Condemns Violence in U.S. Capitol
- AFL-CIO: Attempted Coup an Unconscionable Assault on Democracy