November 12, 2012

Cutler: Malala could be your daughter!

Source: Secretary Treasurer Lee Cutler

To: NYSUT Board of Directors and NYSUT Local Presidents
From: Lee Cutler, NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer
Date: November 12, 2012

We are all saddened, outraged and shocked by the recent brutal shooting of Malala Yousfazai, the 14 year-old Pakistani activist who risked her life so that she and girls throughout Pakistan could have the right to a basic education and future.

The Talibanís attempted assassination of Malala and their resolve to finish the job now that she has survived should motivate all NYSUT members to join in solidarity with Malala and what she stands for.

Violence against women and girls is intolerable. As teachers, SRPs, and health care professionals, we must use our influence and power to work toward the elimination of such violence and brutality.

The brutal assassination attempt on Malala provides a painful, but timely lesson as we prepare to recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

This email is a shout out to all NYSUT members to use this day and the senseless attack on Malala as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness among our students.

I would ask that you forward this message to the appropriate members of your local, in particular Social Studies teachers, so that they can join in this awareness campaign.

Attached to this memo is the following:

  • A link to the winning student video on Asma Jahangir, the Pakistani lawyer and activist who has fought relentlessly for womens rights in that country. This powerful video from last year ís NYSUT/RFK Video Contest was featured at our Representative Assembly in Buffalo and was produced by Springville Middle School 8th graders Caitlyn Bruscia and Sarah Gorski. It looks at the violence against women in Pakistan and the role Asma Jahangir has played in standing up to this. This is a must see for students.

  • A Common Core Lesson (PDF) based on what happened to Malala and why it matters. This lesson is appropriate for middle and high school students.

  • THE PLEDGE (PDF) to be recited on November 25, as well as background information on the three Maribal sisters, who were assassinated in the Dominican Republic in 1960 due to their political activism and heroism.

We hope this material is useful and I would ask that you encourage your members to use it in their instruction. Labor unions have always been in the forefront of civil rights, and today, as women around the world and in our own communities are subject to abuse and violence, we must step forward and lead the charge in ending this once and for all.


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