President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., last week gave a warm up act for his dad’s border wall rally in El Paso, to rouse the crowd.
The president’s son drew cheers when he urged young conservatives to “bring it to your schools because you don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth.”
He continued “You know what I love? I love seeing some young conservatives because I know it’s not easy. (Crowd applauds and shouts.) Keep up that fight. You don’t have to do it. Because you can think for yourselves. They can’t.”
For teachers around the globe, this was a chilling moment.
In a stadium filled with people chanting “USA, USA,” the son of the president of the United States called for hostility toward teachers because of their so-called political leanings.
This is a message you would expect in an authoritarian regime, not at a rally for the U.S. president.
By working daily with young people, teachers are the stewards of the future. Whether Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, right, left, center, blue or red — seeing and reinforcing the value of a teacher should be a national pillar that rises high above partisan politics and cheap applause.
Throughout history, schools and teachers have always been among the first to be targeted by authoritarian regimes and extremists. Independent thinking, creativity, compassion and curiosity are threats to dogmatic beliefs and rule.
Many teachers countries ravaged by war or in shackled societies teach in difficult circumstances. They are often ruthlessly persecuted and even killed for providing a well-balanced education to children, which should be a basic human right.