Yesterday, SPFT joined with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and educators and other allies from across the country to stand up for our immigrant students and our public schools. One of our teachers, See Pha Vang from Phalen Lake Elementary, wrote the following reflection about why it was important to her to be outside yesterday:
Hello, my name is See Vang, and I am a public school teacher from St. Paul Public Schools.
The foundation of public education in America was created under the premise that it is for everyone who believes in their dreams and potential. As a young immigrant girl from Laos, I was a believer of this idea. Moreover, my own children and the children I teach every day still hold true to this belief because I am their living example.
Forty years ago, public education gave me my dream: to become whatever I wanted to be. Yet, back in Laos, opportunities and dreams didn’t exist for a young girl like me because education was for the aristocrats, the rich and boys. After I arrived in America, my uncle told me that I would be going to school for free. I cried and jumped in joy. Despite the fact that I didn’t know my letters or numbers, I still believed that if I worked hard; I could succeed.
Therefore, I stand before you today as a testimony of what public education means not only to all immigrants but also how public education builds success for dreamers and hard workers.
Public education has made a significant difference in my life; it is the essence of who I am. Then, the power of public education has endless possibilities and potential for all those who come through the classrooms.
Join me and stand up for public education.