’100 Years Of Uplifting Spirit Through Solidarity’

October 25, 2018

Young people know the solutions to their problems and should be listened to, according to the guest speaker at the Bermuda Union of Teacher’s annual conference.

Hundreds of union members packed the Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre at the Fairmont Southampton for the BUT’s 35th conference, Titled ‘United: 100 Years of Uplifting Spirit Through Solidarity’, where they were addressed by BUT President Shannon James and guest speaker Erica Nanton, the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign in Chicago.

Erica Nanton on stage

Erica Nanton Bermuda October 2018

Ms Nanton told the audience how the closure of four public schools in Chicago had motivated the pupils to take action and confront the city Mayor, where one student stood up and said: “I will not be someone who you have decided who I am.”

She added: “It is these young people who have the answers for a lot of our social issues right inside them. Young people will articulate the solutions that people with PhDs are trying to work out, but everyone looks at how their hair is braided or how their pants are sitting.

“That is why we do not have solutions for our problems but when we come together there is nothing that can stop us. There are more of us who are sick and tired of saying sick and tired. We are the majority.”

Erica Nanton with BUT President Shannon James

Erica Nanton and Shannon James Bermuda Oct 2018

Mr James constantly reminded the audience that there was a need for educators to be united. ‘When one hurts, we all should feel it’, was his message.

The conference, held on Monday, is the largest professional development offering for educators and gave educators, both public and private, an opportunity to reflect on their craft, sharpen their skills, and leave motivated.

The conference featured panel discussions, debates and workshops on topics ranging from ‘Should sugar be allowed in schools’ to ‘How to integrate technology in your class’.

The BUT is celebrating its centenary next February and is organizing a series of events to raise $100,000 towards four scholarships. It is organizing a raffle with a main prize of a Peugeot 2008 as well as various events throughout the year to help reach the target.

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  1. Nathalee Simons says:

    ‘United: 100 Years of Uplifting Spirit Through Solidarity’ I am honestly not 100% certain of what to make of that theme…

    Thanks Ms Nanaton for reiterating “It is these young people who have the answers for a lot of our social issues right inside them”

    I hope and pray those words were riveted in the heart and mind of every teacher in the audience.

    I would hope that every single teacher/parent/student haven seen it… if not, please take the time out to watch the movie ‘Won’t Back Down’ where two determined mothers with children who are failing in an inner city school in Pittsburgh join forces to take back the school, and turn it into a place of learning. But before they can change the school for the better, they must first battle the parents, the school board, and the teachers union. Because this is for their children, they won’t back down from this enormous challenge.

    Bermuda may not be inner city but there is a similarity… no vision for the highest standard of knowledge!!!(see I didn’t say education, starting from Early Childhood level is paramount!! we cannot continue to implement at the middle school….it’s tooooo late..

    Congrats to the BUT….100 yrs.. and a lot of hard work necessary to ensure tangible success for our high schools Class of 2023… I am somewhat pessimistic that much will be done earlier..