A Response to Charlottesville

  • A Response to Charlottesville

    As President and President-Elect of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), we are deeply disturbed and concerned by the acts of terror displayed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hate and white supremacy have no place in our communities, schools, and classrooms. For many of you, the academic school year has started or will start very soon.

    Many of you will be in classrooms in which your students watched the events in Charlottesville unfold on television and on social media, and your students will be affected by those events. The trauma of hate speech and terror has an impact on the classroom environment and on the social and emotional well-being of students and teachers. Last December, NCTM argued that We Teach More Than Mathematics and that as teachers we must stand against any act that threatens the well-being of students.

    As President and President-Elect of NCTM, we are committed to a social justice position that challenges the role of power, privilege, and oppression. As educators, teachers of mathematics, and a Council, we support the use of mathematics as an analytic tool to challenge power, privilege, and oppression. We encourage all educators to challenge systems of oppression that privilege some students while disadvantaging other students. We encourage all educators to create socially and emotionally safe spaces for each and every student. And we urge educators to create structures where each and every student can be fully engaged in our democratic society in constructive ways. We owe this not only to our students but also to the society we wish to inhabit both now and in the future.

    Matt Larson, NCTM President
    Robert Berry, NCTM President-Elect

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    Mathew Felton-Koestler - 8/22/2017 5:08:01 PM

    Thanks for writing this! I'm using it in my math methods classes to launch a discussion about Charlottesville and what it means for future math teachers: https://goo.gl/ENPp8X

    Yolanda Parker - 8/16/2017 7:34:42 PM

    Thank you, Matt and Robert, for your leadership, advocacy and encouragement. 

    George Reese - 8/16/2017 8:35:16 AM


    The Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics is honored to support the leadership of our parent organization.

    -George Reese, ICTM Board President



    Shelly Jones - 8/15/2017 4:41:14 PM

    Thank you NCTM (Matt and Robert) for standing up for our children. We must remember that students come to school having seen and heard many things and they are much more than what we see in our classrooms. As one of my colleagues (Cred D.) says, "We don't teach math, we teach CHILDREN". We must not bury our heads in the sand, we must use our platform, the classroom, to empower our students to understand the world inside and outside the classroom. If we stand by and do nothing, we are accomplices (Rochelle G.) to this nonsense going on around us. The Benjamin Banneker Association, Inc. (President, Brea Ratliff) has made a statement as well and I commend others that are doing the same. 

    Shelly Jones - 8/15/2017 4:45:58 PM

    I just realized that I used Rochelle's "accomplice" in a different way than she discusses; however, you all get my point. I just saw a press conference and right now very emotional. 

    Martin Gartzman - 8/15/2017 11:39:07 AM

    Thank you Matt and Robert.  Proud of NCTM's increased willingness to speak up.

    Diana Ceja - 8/14/2017 11:52:37 PM

    Matt and Robert and NCTM,  I am grateful for your courage to take a stance against hate and oppression.  It is an honor to stand together with you.  

    Julia Aguirre - 8/14/2017 8:23:21 PM

    Thank you for taking a stand for humanity and justice. Your statement sends a positive message to those who work to eradicate racism and bigotry. Thank you for supporting educators to challenge systems of oppression that hurt us all. We stand together stronger.

    Silvia Llamas-Flores - 8/14/2017 8:17:54 PM

    Thank you, Matt and Robert for voicing what many of us, educators, stand for.  Your positive message is a reminder to all of us that the work that we're doing on social justice is an important one, especially when we're faced with the this type of hatred and bigotry.  

    Diane Kinch - 8/14/2017 6:22:40 PM

    Thank you Matt and Robert, TODOS is preparing its own response to join you in our collective belief that hatred and bigotry have no place in our society. We ALL have a responsibility to construct a society built on respect.


    Bob McDonald - 8/14/2017 6:10:09 PM

    Thanks to Matt, Robert and NCTM for their leadership and positive message.  We  must ALL work towards social justice and challange the racism that is still present in our society. 

    Kyndall Brown - 8/14/2017 5:17:48 PM

    Thank you Robert and Matt for taking such a strong stance angainst hatred and bigotry. I am proud to be a member of NCTM!

    Linda Fulmore - 8/14/2017 5:10:37 PM

    Matt and Robert,

    Thank you for taking this important step for equity and social justice. NCTM is the voice of leadership in mathematics education and our voice matters. Educators can no longer be silent on the issues that impact our students and our nation. 

    M Alejandra Sorto - 8/14/2017 2:03:49 PM

    Bravo! It is so good to hear these words from our NCTM leadership. You are my voice and for that I am so thankful.  I was just wondering about going back to school and reflecting about my role as an educator.  You reminded us that we indeed teach beyond the mathematics! 

    Ralph Connelly - 8/14/2017 12:52:02 PM

    It is great to see NCTM, through you, speaking out against these horrible acts! This is putting "We teach more than mathematics" into action--well done!

    Linda Gojak - 8/14/2017 12:35:44 PM

    Matt and Robert,

    I applaud your conviction toward equity and social justice.  These are not just buzz words.  These are what it means to teach and to offer the best we can for ALL of our students.  We are passionate about a good mathematics education for every child whose lives we tough. And we are more passionate that every chlld becomes a truly valued and honored member of our global community.

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