Teaching

Why I cut my aunt out in 2020

Why I cut my aunt out in 2020

This is not an easy post to write, many people would probably think it’s a stupid one to write. Maybe they’re right. But this is how I process, this is how I heal.

August 10th around 10:20pm I told my aunt that we no longer had a relationship & unfriended her on social media (our modern way of cutting people out of our lives I guess lol). Without dragging this out too much I want to go through the why. This is important to me because in the deepest parts of my souls I do not believe in “unfriending” or “blocking” people, I actively believe in diversity to the point that it is difficult sometimes. However, something obviously changed. What changed?

Like any break in a relationship, it is a long time coming but then one day something happens to alter it so completely it is irreversible. She posted an article “WALSH: Teachers Openly Fret That Parents Might Hear Them Brainwashing Children, Call Parents ‘Dangerous’.” Any decent human being can already see from the title that the article is problematic, it’s a classic “clickbait” title. Normally I scroll through her thinly veiled bigotry but this one intrigued me probably because my mom, husband, 2 aunts, and myself are teachers. I decided to read the article, figuring some dumbass teacher posted something stupid on social media. I was ready to roll my eyes and move on. But that wasn’t the article.

The article was vilifying a teacher who was nervous with everything he/she taught being streamed in the home because students may not feel comfortable sharing as much, especially on difficult topics, if their parents are hovering. For many of our students, school is a release for them, not that their parents don’t love them, but they need that time away, they need to explore other ideas, have hard conversations, figure out who they are. The teachers dragged through the mud in the article went on to brainstorm how they can build those relationships with students this year; how do we get to know them? Many students come to us, especially high school teachers, because they need an ear to listen who is not mom or dad.

This underlining is from the “crazy” lawn mower parents who are trashing education in the Twitter thread accompanying the article. FYI

Read more: I just want to be a Teacher.

Additionally, many of us in high school teach “difficult” topics that in my opinion shouldn’t be a controversy but some narrow mind parents find them “threatening.” I am not defending shitty teachers. But the reason they are allowed to stay is that no one wants to be a teacher. I mean it’s that surprising to anyone? lol no.

My goal is to challenge my kids every single year to put themselves in someone else’s shoes; to think about others on a global scale.

So to start off with, the fact that my aunt posting this article was not a fabulous sign. I know she hates public school; she decided to pull her kids out decades ago to have full control over their eduction. You do you. Homeschooling is not the devil – if that works for you, I’m happy. My mom, God bless her, choose to use humor to address the article. 🙂 But then things started to slide down there; my aunt, assumingely incapable of sympathy or empathy, immediately went on the rage-fest defensive. All her posts seem to be angry rage-type things against anyone. . .and I mean anyone. . .who has a different perspective from her. And then if you choose to give a different perspective, regardless of your choice of words or perspective, she yells and attacks you without fail.

But that is not even where the conversation became unsalvageable. My aunt decided it would be a brilliant idea to say later on “hmmm. I guess you are the teacher that the article is talking about. My problem is that who are YOU to judge what I want my kids to learn?” The first part of her quote, has obvious problems, this is a woman who has been part of my family longer than I have been alive & that comment is unnecessary and rude. The second part is, to be frank, idiotic. As a homeschooler, YOU do have control over your content 100%; if your kids go to school (public or private) you do not. Duh.

I was willing to let her snarky comment go. I just wrote back my issues with the article, and frankly it’s got nothing to do with being a teacher. If a blanket article was written about “cops being abusive” I would also fully expect any decent cop to take offense to that, too. The article was a breeding ground for an ultra-conservative fear-fest.

I feel bad for her. I truly do. She’s angry and bitter, I can only assume she is afraid of the world that is coming. A world that is changing, for better or worse, whether we like it or not.

My final straw, however, is when I was called “unintelligent,” “dim,” and “from here on out I will look at you as a brainwashing teacher.” Yeahhhh I don’t need you in my life. So here was my farewell message:

Honestly, we didn’t have much of a relationship before this, you deliberately pushed me & my parents out of your lives. Completely your choice, although a sad one. We now have no thread of a relationship left. I do wish the boys well.

I have never attacked you as a person, defended you even without your knowledge. But you choose to “call me from here until eternity a brainwasher.” We can have nothing else to say to each other. Good bye.

I don’t believe in “cancelling” family, or anyone for that matter. But when you dismiss and disrespect another human soul, you are no longer family.

JMF

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