On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning travel from specific Muslim countries for 90 days and prohibiting refugees from entering the country for 120 days. That signing brought protests around the country and responses from other countries. This is the #MuslimBan many have feared.
As educators, we cannot hide from the world around and teach from the textbook. Depending on where you teach and the support from your administration, it might not be wise to dive into this political dumpster fire at the start of Biology class. So, what can we do?
The most important thing educators can do is be present. Students need to know that we care and we are there to support them as they try to unpack the complex emotions they are experiencing. We need to be as empathetic as possible for our students. Educators around the country are going to be working with students who might not be sure their family will be allowed to come back to the United States. They are afraid to leave because they might not be allowed back. Educators need to make sure that schools continue to be safe havens for all students. When a teachable moment arises, it is imperative that we jump on it and help students understand what is happening in our country.
Outside of school, you need to contact your representative. Check out Who Is My Representative, enter in your zip code and it will give you representatives. Call every day. Write every day. Show up at town hall meetings. Our government needs to hear your voice to ensure that proper checks and balances are being followed. As a country, we are going to have our ups and downs, but it's how we, as a nation, respond to the downs that define us.