As President-elect Donald J. Trump prepares for his Jan. 20 inauguration, his critics are busy preparing, too.
At least two Portland-area teachers unions are asking their members to join street protests of Trump on inauguration weekend.
Teachers' unions are among the many groups unhappy with Trump. They fear the new Republican president will be hostile to organized labor and to many of their students.
Trump nominated as his education secretary Betsy Devos, a Michigan charter school activist and arch-enemy of teachers unions. Trump's comments about Muslims, Mexicans and others have raised concerns for new arrivals to this country and many of their teachers.
WW has obtained a copy of a resolution drafted by the Reynolds Education Association—which organizes teachers in eastern Multnomah County.
The resolution pledges that the union will "mobilize its members in concert with other labor unions for local protest actions."
It continues: "A united front of all those threatened by the incoming administration will be needed."
Emily Crum, an elementary school teacher who is the president of the more than 600-member Reynolds Education Association, says teachers in her district are concerned about the positions Trump has taken regarding immigrants.
Reynolds serves more than 11,000 students in Portland, Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale, including a high percentage of Hispanic students and students who speak nearly 50 different languages.
Crum says Trump's rhetoric emboldened many people who share the president elect's dim view of immigrants. She says even in Multnomah County, the tone of discourse has changed.
"Students in our school setting are experiencing a kind of tension I haven't seen in the past," Crum says. "As educators it's really important for us to give students a safe space in which their voices can be heard."
The Reynolds Education Association will decide whether to adopt the resolution above on Wednesday. Crum says she hopes it will pass and that she and her colleagues plan to join other groups in a Saturday, Jan. 21 labor rally prior to the Women's March on Portland.
Suzanne Cohen, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, says her union signed on to a resolution similar to the one the Reynolds union considering.
"We are making buttons for educators to wear on the 19th/20th that say "Public Schools—Not For Sale," Cohen adds in a text message. "And we are co-sponsoring the labor rally before the Women's March."