A comment posted this morning by the reader known as “Threatened Out West”

 

 

“Dear Ms. Streep:

 

I thank you deeply for your impassioned speech last night. It was needed and beautifully presented.

 

I appreciate that you mentioned that you graduated from public schools.

 

I would ask one thing, however. I know you mentioned that Hollywood and the media are the most vilified professions right now. Perhaps you are right. However, there is ANOTHER profession just as vilified–public education teaching. We teachers are being blamed for the problems of the world. We are told we are so bad that we are a “national security risk.” We are told that the economic collapse of 2008 was our fault. We are told that the death of Eric Garner in New York can be laid at our feet. We have been told that we are sub-par since 1983’s “A Nation at Risk.” I could go on.

 

Yet, we go into classrooms every day that are filthy and falling apart. We teach overcrowded classes that have students with a wide variety of needs that we strive to fulfill. We love every kid and we work countless hours to reach every kid. We provide supplies, food, clothing, for kids. We aren’t perfect, but the vast majority of us try every day.

 

Unlike Hollywood and the media, we never have the kind of platform to speak out that you so beautifully displayed last night. The only time teachers are in the news is when some teacher does some awful thing, which then makes all teachers guilty by association. Once in a great while, one of us may get in the news for something really heroic, but that is infrequent and usually brushed under the carpet as soon as possible.

 

Could you, and others with the platform that you have, PLEASE speak out for teachers? We speak out, but our platform is tiny, and we are told that we are “selfish,” and, “not in it for the kids” when we try to speak out. This week, the Department of Education will be filled by a woman who destroys us and our profession at every turn, whose supporters denigrate our professionalism and destroy our lives’ work.

 

PLEASE, speak for us, too.

 

Thank you.

 

A tired teacher from the west.