AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, there are moments in time when seemingly unconnected issues are joined, thereby focusing attention on sad realities that are too often ignored; and

WHEREAS, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was one of those moments: a tragedy in which a young life was lost to the toxic mix of racial profiling and a Stand Your Ground law; and

WHEREAS, racial profiling sets individuals apart because of their race—making them subject to special scrutiny, greater danger, and separate and unequal treatment—and, therefore, flies in the face of the belief that human beings should be accorded respect because of their individual worth and judged not on outward appearances but on the "content of their character"; and

WHEREAS, racial profiling increases the potential harmfulness of laws like Stand Your Ground—which currently exist in more than 25 states—because it allows individuals in possession of firearms or other weapons to become self-appointed arbiters of guilt; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long and proud history of fighting against discrimination and stereotyping, whether based on race, gender, immigration status, physical disability, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, racial profiling and other forms of discrimination will not be eliminated without concerted efforts to educate, legislate and mobilize for change:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will make tools available to teachers and school staff to support their efforts to foster respect among students for one another; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with state federations, local affiliates, members and community allies who share its goals of eradicating racial profiling and other forms of discrimination, to support and encourage activities and programs that increase acceptance of and sensitivity to individuals and groups in a diverse society; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work to repeal Stand Your Ground laws, which sow seeds of distrust, contribute to a vigilante mentality and weaken the bonds that unite us; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will continue to take a strong public position against racial profiling and remain steadfast in fighting for laws, policies and practices that will prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state and local levels.