A human-centered education system requires change beyond the classroom.

Creating a Better Future

Although we explicit focus on creating human-centered education systems, there is a need to advocate for just and fair treatment of all people beyond the classroom. Flourishing classrooms cannot exist without a greater flourishing society. Therefore, we are firm supporters of various policies creating a more democratic state, including unionization, gun control, free access to higher education, actions reversing climate change, and more.

Curb Gun Violence & Sponsor Gun Control

Tragically in American schools and other public spaces, we are constantly under threat of a massacre. Until government regulation is taken, we will once again hear about ludicrous substitutions for obvious gun reform and repeat the same cyclical process which has dominated our media discourse for decades. Essentially every media personality and organization has made statements offering support for what the vast majority of Americans want: common sense gun reform.

In spite of this, conservative politicians have turned their attention, yet again, to farcical ideas like arming teachers as opposed to addressing the obvious specific issue of guns in the United States. In conjunction with a well-funded propagandistic gun lobby, it is our fear that each mass shooting will be spoken about for a few weeks, make the rounds on social media, then it will become a distant memory like Sandy Hook, those before it, and those in-between.

We call upon educators to organize and fight for human-centered schools, and of course gun control is a major part of the ongoing fight.

Prompt action is needed. As extremist political movements grow in numbers, there will be more tragedies spurred on by domestic terrorism. Citizens must use their power as democratic citizens to bring about change. A progressive education system is not possible when the safety and lives of students are at-risk every single day. We would encourage our network to sign up, get involved, and donate to local and national organizations working to make a difference.

In the classroom, we must continue to create democratic communities where students recognize the power of their voice, providing them space to cooperative with others and create better learning environments.

In spite of the threats against those who put themselves out there, our collective voice is powerful, and change will not occur without roadblocks, setbacks, and challenge. It’s an ongoing effort. We cannot let cynicism and apathy destroy our ability to make lasting change.

We are so sure we know what freedom is in America that we cannot imagine a world in which true freedom might come after sacrifice of personal rights. Freedom is sending your kids to school with confidence that they will come home at the end of the day.- Taylor Schumann (When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough)

Bodily Autonomy

In the wake of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is important for us all to recognize the impact of this decision on educators and young people, as well as their families. The vast majority of Americans believe in access to an abortion. In the coming months, it is imperative for us to band together and demand action. This is especially imperative in schools, where most educators are people who can become pregnant. There is an exacerbated impact on young people who will find difficulty navigating this terrible experience, if they are able to find access at all.

People cannot be free and equal without the fundamental right to bodily autonomy and privacy, and states are rapidly revoking these rights. A human-centered system requires fair, democratic, and humane policies that care for people and ensure they have access to care. It respects science and the body of evidence showcasing the negative impact of restricting access to an abortion.

Just like other national policy shifts in recent years, these problems will not go away on their own - they will get worse. Without demanding action, including voting, organizing, and resisting, more and more restrictions will impact women’s right to choose, as well as extend to decisions that further impact bodily autonomy and LGBTQIA+ American rights.

It’s important for us to not let cynicism and apathy win the fight. It’s a daunting task to change systems, and it’s easy for individuals to lose hope. Yet, the formidable truth is that these problems will get worse and continue if we give up the battle.