For three years, Black Lives Matter at NYC Schools, with allies from the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) have submitted a resolution to the UFT to endorse the Week of Action, to acknowledge the deep harm done by our school system’s white supremacist underpinnings, and to pledge action toward the BLM demands. Leadership in the UFT has either argued vehemently against the resolution, calling it divisive or has refused to allow the vote by ruling the Black teacher who brought it to the floor “out of order” and silencing him. Meanwhile, teacher unions in major cities across the U.S. have endorsed the BLM Week of Action enthusiastically.
This June, after the murders of Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, and amid nation-wide uprisings for racial justice, BLM at NYC schools again submitted a resolution to the UFT Delegate Assembly. Instead, the UFT brought to the floor a watered-down resolution submitted independently by a white teacher. This resolution does not name even one concrete action the UFT will take, nor does it name any of the four demands of Black Lives Matter at Schools.
The four demands of Black Lives Matter at Schools are:
End zero-tolerance; restorative justice in all schools.
Mandate Black history & ethnic studies.
Hire more Black teachers.
Fund counselors, not cops.
Separately, behind closed doors, and without any public announcement, the UFT Executive Board passed their own toothless “Black Lives Matter Resolution” to create the impression that they are on the right side of history. We know they are not. The Executive Board resolution, along with our corrections, is below.