UM Regent Weiser Must Go
Join in the fight to force Ron Weiser to resign from the University of Michigan Board of Regents and for the University to take the Weiser name off off all buildings by signing the petition at https://progressmichigan.actionkit.com/sign/ron-weiser-must-go/
From many corners of Michigan, including other UM Regents, Regent Ron Weiser is under pressure to resign from the UM Board for comments he calling Governor Whitmer, Attorney General Nessel, and Secretary of State Benson “witches” who need to be “ready to be burned at the stake,” and suggesting “assassination” as a way to deal with Michigan’s Republican Congressmen who voted to impeach former President Trump. Weiser is also the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
Weiser, of course, is free to voice his opposition to our state leaders and congressmen with whom he disagrees, but someone who uses such repugnant, misogynistic and violent language has no place on the board of the University of Michigan.
Governor Calls For Pause for High School In-Person Learning and Youth Sports
With Michigan COVID numbers rising, last Friday Governor Whitmer called for a pause in high school face-to-face classes and in youth sports. According to the Department of Health and Human Services K-12 schools have the greatest number of new and ongoing outbreaks in Michigan, right now, many of which are tied to youth sports. As always, layered prevention strategies are essential. As part of these strategies, rapid antigen test kits are available free of charge to any PreK-12 school.
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist to Kick Off AFT Michigan Education Policy Conference May 1
We’re excited to announce that Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist will join us at AFT Michigan’s Education Policy Conference, which will take place on May 1st from 8:30 AM-12:30 PM.
This conference will also include:
- A state budget overview, with breakouts focusing on universities, community colleges, and PreK-12 schools;
- A panel discussion about racial justice in our education system, focusing on the problems with punitive practices and how we can be part of dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline; and
- Breakouts by constituency to discuss safely navigating COVID-19 and improving public education in Michigan over the year ahead.
Jackson and Mansfield Advocating for Healthy Play at School
Donna Jackson, President of the Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals, and Jenell Mansfield, AFT Michigan’s Political and Legislative Coordinator, have been named to the board of the Coalition for Michigan Schoolchildren’s Right to Play. The Coalition will support access to safe and healthy play every day at school to positively impact children’s physical, social, and emotional development. Thanks for serving Donna and Jenell.
Rally to Defend Voting Rights in Lansing Tuesday
The 2020 election saw record turnout all over this country and in Michigan. More than 5.5 million people voted here in Michigan, with 3.3 million casting an absentee ballot. You would think that expanded voting rights and access to the ballot would be something that everyone can get behind. But since the election, over three hundred bills to restrict folks’ right to vote have been proposed in 47 states. Please click here to add your name to stand up for voting rights – and join us, the Detroit NAACP and many other allies tomorrow at the Capitol in Lansing for a rally to protect the fundamental right to vote.
League of Women Voters Hosting Virtual Town Hall on Redistricting
The Independent Redistricting Commission created by Michigan voters in 2018 is holding many hearings in the months ahead for citizens to learn about the process of drawing Michigan’s new Congressional and Legislative maps and make their voice heard. The League of Women Voters of Ann Arbor is hosting a Virtual town hall on Monday, April 19 at 7:00pm to help people learn about appearing before the Commission. Register HERE
2021 Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award Applications Now Available!
AFT Michigan has three eligibility categories of the “Rollie Hopgood Future Teachers Scholarship Award” for qualifying individuals.
Scholarship categories and links to applications and forms are:
- Graduating senior of an AFT Michigan high school with the goal of becoming a teacher;
- AFT Michigan PSRP dues paying member for at least one academic year enrolled (full- or part-time) in a teacher certification program at a college or university;
- AFT Michigan dues paying member for at least one academic year son(s) and/or daughter(s) who is a graduating senior with the goal of becoming a teacher.
Upcoming Professional Development
Strategies to Help Grieving Students and Enhance Social Emotional Skills Prek-14
May 1, 2021, 8:30 a.m – 4:00 p.m.
This workshop will provide participants an opportunity to review research about how personal loss has a profound impact emotionally and the academic growth of students. Attendees will develop strategies to help learners cope with loss and the grieving process
Click here to register.
Michigan Department of Education
Below are the workshops offered by the Michigan Department of Education’s LGBTQ+ Students Project between now and the end of the school year.
**IMPORTANT** Only register for workshops if you expect to attend; there are wait lists for some virtual offerings and it’s important to ensure spots are being filled by people who will actually attend. Continuing Education Credits and SCECHs will be offered at no cost, however you must attend the entire workshop to be eligible. Please note that registrations will only be approved for those who have not already attended the workshop in the 2020-21 school year.
- Listening to Understand: LGBTQ+ Students Discuss Their Experiences in Michigan Schools will be on Thurs. April 15, 2021 from 8:00-9:30am. This is an opportunity to hear from LGBTQ+ students directly about their experiences in Michigan’s schools. All school personnel from educators to support staff are encouraged to attend. Register here.
- Making Your Student Information System Work for You: Accurately Reflecting Student Gender Identities in Your SIS will be offered on Tues. April 20, 2021 from 8:00-9:30am. Hear from school personnel who are thinking creatively and using all the tools at their disposal. We will investigate legal and state requirements, and capabilities of various systems. Register here.
- The Power of GSAs: Getting your School’s Club Up and Running! will be on Tues., April 27, 2021 from 3:00-4:30pm. We’ll explore best practice strategies for how to get started, getting decision makers’ buy in, determining a focus, doing outreach, and navigating situations that might arise. Register here.
- When Bias Gets in the Way: How to Recognize and Address Barriers to Supporting LGBTQ+ Students and Families will be on Tues. May 4, 2021 from 8:00-9:30am. In this workshop we will identify strategies for navigating our own biases and collaborating with families and colleagues who may be unsupportive. Register here.
- From the School Bus to the School Board: School-Wide Policies and Best Practices to Support LGBTQ+ Students on Tues. May 11, 2021 from 8:00-9:30am. This workshop explores the ways in which we are able to enact systems to better support LGBTQ+ youth. This workshop is especially great for administrators and/or those who have not been to other workshops in our series. Register here.
- Safe, Supportive, and Inclusive Classrooms: Practical Strategies for Affirming LGBTQ+ Students will be on Tues. May 25, 2021 from 3:30-5:00pm. We are excited to feature guest co-facilitator Owen Bondono, 2021 Michigan Teacher of the Year! This workshop is geared especially toward classroom teachers, however building administrators are also encouraged to attend. Register here.
David Hecker, President