Arizona Education Association

Fall 2016

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s educators, most of us recognize the bully on the playground. We also know it can be difficult to stand up to bullies, especially by yourself. Our students look to us for help in these situations. We encourage them to take a stand or the problem will only get worse. Brothers and sisters, it's time we listened to our own advice. As a member of the Arizona Education Association (AEA), you will never have to face a bully alone. When you find the courage to advocate for your students or colleagues, other AEA leaders, members, and staff will always have your back. It doesn't matter if it's at a governing board meeting or at the legislature. Arizona's educators can stand up to any bully, if we stand up together. This month is bullying prevention month (read about NEA's Bully Free: It Starts with Me campaign on page 25), and I propose that we stand up to the bullies running for election to the Arizona Legislature. These are people seeking office, who too often use their power to silence reporters and educators, withhold access to healthcare for children, siphon funding from public schools for their own benefit, and just this past session, attempt to de-professionalize our teachers. Arizona citizens must hold their elected officials accountable for providing support for our students and schools, and they will if we point out who the bullies are. You hold tremendous power in your voice and actions. Public polling shows that teachers and public school employees are the most trusted community members. People value what you have to say about education, and they listen for the candidate you support for office because yours is a voice they can trust and hear above the political fray. I have experienced it myself. When I knock on doors, introduce myself as a Social Studies teacher, and ask people to vote for a bond, override, or pro-public education candidate, they listen. They trust me because I work at a school. I have heard similar stories from other school employees and how rewarding canvassing door to door for AEA's recommended candidates can feel to educators. So, I challenge you to stand up to the bullies who are threatening our schools as safe and inspiring places of learning. Visit to volunteer this month in support of AEA's recommended candidates. In the words of teacher Jackie Mutcheson: "It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us." 4 ADVOCATE | FALL 2016 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas AEA OFFICERS Joe Thomas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Mark J. Simons Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532 - 9 Standing Strong by Standing Together n Joe Thomas, President Arizona Education Association

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