These badass teachers aren't taking Trump Jr.'s judgmental speech lying down.

Trump Jr. messed with the wrong powerhouse educators.

ICYMI, Donald Trump Jr. gave a speech at the Republican National Convention in which he dismissed public schools and their teachers.

Trump Jr. throwing shade on public schools. Image via Patsy Error/YouTube.


Here are just a few choice phrases from that particular segment:

"Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor. They are like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and the administrators and not the students."

Needless to say, it ruffled the feathers of many educators at both public and private institutions for a number of reasons, perhaps the most significant being that he spoke from no experience.

Trump Jr. grew up in a privileged household and went to The Hill School, a preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. After that, he attended The University of Pennsylvania — another privately owned institution.

Simply put, Trump Jr. has no idea what it's like to be educated in public schools.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Thankfully, one incredibly eloquent teacher decided to call out Trump Jr. on his misinformed speech.

Dani Bostick is a Latin teacher at a public school in Winchester, Virginia, who just happened to have the RNC on in the background while working on lesson plans.

After she heard what Trump Jr. had to say about her profession, she simply had to respond.

Bostick wrote on The Huffington Post about how dedicated she and her colleagues are to the kids they teach despite their "pitifully low" salaries. She wrote about how time in the classroom is such a small part of the hours teachers put into their work. And she stressed how "reckless" it is to say public schools serve teachers instead of students because it's simply not true. One quote sums her sentiments up pretty perfectly:

"Tenure or no tenure, union or no union, teachers dedicate our lives to students. Or, as we teachers call them 'our kids.' ... They are our kids because we are as invested in their academic growth and personal development as if they were our own literal children."

Once her post was up, teachers of the world (well, at least those on Twitter) united behind her.



Erin Johnston, a public school teacher from North Carolina, responded succinctly to the Democratic Party's "fear" of free-market education:

"The only thing I fear is yet another politician running their mouth about how education is broken while at the same time passing legislation to break it even more because it gets them elected."


Boom! Mic drop!

There is a good lesson to be learned here that can be summed up by a quote my high school English teacher had on her classroom wall.

"I say, there is no darkness but ignorance." — William Shakespeare, "Twelfth Night"

If you're going to trash talk the people who educate others, you'd best do your research; otherwise they'll take you to church.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.


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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

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The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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