In recognition of the troubling situation in Baltimore and the death of Freddie Gray, delegates to NYSUT's Representative Assembly unanimously passed a special order of business calling for systemic solutions to the fundamental issues of poverty, racism and a lack of investment in education.
"NYSUT, in concert with the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers and other unions across the country, is heartbroken over what has happened in Baltimore where — as in far too many communities — violence and loss cast shadows on the lives and dreams of our students," the resolution says. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Freddie Gray. We are saddened for the people of Baltimore and those hurt in the cycle of violence that erupted there."
Michael Fabricant (pictured), a member of the Professional Staff Congress at CUNY, introduced the special order, calling for peace and justice across the nation and answers in the death of Freddie Gray, as his family has requested.
"We understand the frustration that mounts with each incident where an unarmed black or Latino man loses his future," Fabricant said. "We understand, too, the hopelessness that stems from poverty, racism, joblessness and under-investment in education and leads to continued cycles of violence. As New Yorkers, we join with communities across the nation in condemning inequality and racism wherever it exists; and affirm that violence is never the answer to the fundamental issues that must be addressed."
Delegates commended their brothers and sisters in the Baltimore Teachers Union for their compassion and commitment in providing for the well-being of their students and their communities during this time of sorrow and unrest, and pledged to continue working tirelessly and constructively to develop systemic solutions to these very difficult issues.