AFT Massachusetts Statement of Solidarity with our Black Students, Families, Educators, and Communities

AFT Massachusetts stands in solidarity with our Black students, families, educators, and communities in Massachusetts and around the country, and joins them to condemn anti-Black racism and police brutality.

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have once again drawn public attention to the structural racism that underpins our entire society. As we continue to confront the COVID-19 public health emergency that is disproportionately harming Black Americans, we know that systemic racism is also a public health emergency that threatens the lives and health of Black people every day. Black lives matter, and we will not live in an equitable society that recognizes that fact unless we commit to deep, structural change.

As educators, we must confront racism in our schools, and in our communities, even when the headlines fade. AFT Massachusetts is committed to fighting for antiracist reforms – real, lasting change that transforms not just policing, but our entire society. In the classroom and the community, we must challenge our own internal biases and fight to transform the systems that preserve them.

Pass the House HEROES Act

The House version of the HEROES Act is a vital step toward helping our country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief package provides valuable resources for testing, tracing, and hospital support to aid safe reopenings, and funds our states, cities, towns, and schools.
 
The relief offered in this package combats the virus by providing $75 billion for necessary testing, tracing and hospital support, which are critical for reopening safely. It also invests nearly $1 trillion in state and local aid, including $100 billion for public schools and public colleges.

News from AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos - May 2020

A Message from President Beth Kontos; Pass the House HEROES Act; AFT Members Supporting Mobile Food Markets in Lawrence; Virtual 34th Annual Statewide Paraprofessional Conference; Virtual Student Debt Clinic for AFT Members; AFT Massachusetts Holds Remote 2020 Convention; AFT Massachusetts Announces Recipients of 2020 Distinguished Service Awards; AFT Massachusetts Announces Recipients of 2020 Scholarship Awards; Member Benefits Spotlight and more!

AFT Members Supporting Mobile Food Markets in Lawrence

Like so many others across America, AFT Massachusetts teachers and school support staff are putting aside their own fears during the COVID-19 pandemic to help maintain a sense of normalcy for their students. One big area of focus for AFT Massachusetts members is food security. Educators across the Commonwealth are working hard to ensure that students and their families have food during this crisis.
 
“When LTU gave me the opportunity to volunteer at the Mobile Market I didn’t hesitate. Everyone is struggling right now but I can’t imagine how much worse it would be to try and manage my children if they were scared and hungry,” said Kimberly Senko, a 4th & 5th grade Special Education Teacher at the John K. Tarbox Elementary School. “I am a teacher but I worry about more than my students’ ability to read and write. My job requires me to partner with families to ensure students are safe, healthy, and they have the social emotional support they need to manage their emotions. Volunteering at the Mobile Market was one way to show families that Lawrence teachers are invested in the community and ready to support their children.”

AFT resources on the COVID-19

The AFT is focused on the health and safetly of our members, communities and students.
 
School and library closures related to the coronavirus pandemic have impacted hundreds of thousands of U.S. schools and libraries and affected millions of students. The AFT is working constantly to help our members and the people they serve navigate this virus, and buffer against the economic impacts. These are unique and challenging times, and information on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. 
 
Please visit https://www.aft.org/coronavirus to review the AFT's collection of resources.