Eileen Duffey’s SRC testimony – January 19, 2017


Click the picture to view the testimony video.

Good evening,

My name is Eileen Duffey. I am a 22 year veteran school nurse working at the Academy @ Palumbo. Welcome to Joyce Wilkerson and to Dr.McGinley , new SRC members who I am addressing for the first time.

Today I speak on behalf of my fellow colleagues who are members of a caucus within our Philadelphia Federation of Teachers known as the Caucus of Working Educators.

Specifically, I want to tell you about a week of action sponsored by the caucus around the topic of Black Lives Matter.

The caucus Black Lives Matter committee has been working around the clock during the past several weeks  to find and share best teaching practices and  academic resources in line with the CORE curriculum— for teachers in every subject area —to support a positive, developmentally appropriate, and academically challenging recognition of  Black Lives Matter week.

Take a look around at the world we bequeath to our children …poverty, unaffordable housing, increased mass incarceration, income disparity, homophobia, unfair immigration laws, gender inequality, and poor access to healthcare are a few of the serious problems our students face daily.

All of these injustices exist in the intersection of race, class and gender.

As educators, we are preparing our students to make decisions in this world I just described.

It is in this spirit that the WE caucus reminds us that our children deserve more than the  bitter infighting we watched in the recent presidential election.

We believe given a supportive environment and high quality lesson planning options that teachers can offer students the support they need to deal with our world so they can develop  skills to discuss challenging subjects and envision themselves as agents to improve our planet.

To paraphrase the words of American author bell hooks, when we simply name our problems without offering constructive criticisms to resolve them, we take away hope from our children. In   addressing the issue of the lives of our students during this week, educators who participate in this voluntary program hope to afford our students a  platform to imagine real, sustainable solutions that can stretch across today and tomorrow.

More information about this program is available on the Caucus of Working Educators website.  Thank you.