CEA Statement: CEA President on the Killing of George Floyd and Racial Discrimination and Violence in America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 29, 2020

DENVER – Statement from Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association, on the killing of George Floyd and racial discrimination and violence in America:

“As a union of over 39,000 educators in Colorado, we stand in solidarity with those fighting racial, social, and economic injustice. We will stand and fight for people like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor because they deserve those who will stand and fight for them. Those in power who allow this to continue must be held accountable. Our children are watching.

“The events over the past several weeks highlight the need for us, as a society, to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘who do we want to be?’ and ‘who do we want our children to become?’ This nation was founded on the principles of the “land of the free,” but that hasn’t been the case for people of color. We must stand together and fight to dismantle these racist systems because, if we don’t, who will?

“As we grieve for innocent souls like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others who were murdered at the hands of those paid to protect us, we must recognize the institutional and structural racism and white privilege that exists at all levels. In our own schools, Black and Latinx students are more likely to be referred to law enforcement than their white peers. This is wrong and must end. The time is now.

“We want to make it clear: We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the protestors who stood against police violence on people of color yesterday in Denver. We also condemn any backlash and treatment against the protestors. The systemic problems that allow this in our country is the problem; not those who choose to stand against it.”

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