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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A new narrative of love

Martin Luther King said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

My dear friend Kris Nielsen, asked for some advice about addressing an audience tonight on Badass Teachers Facebook page. > <
He asked what should I tell them.
So I said, tell them that Ed Reformers live in fear, sell fear, they fear the future. Their mantra of fear is, your children won't be able to compete in the twenty-first century. You need to be afraid of the future. Your children need tough love, more rigor, more testing. Know that these very same people pushing this fear-do not send their children to our public schools. Their children attend schools of love.
Kris, tell them you come in the name of love. A love of children, parents, teachers, and our public schools.
Tell them one man is walking in the name of love from Connecticut to DC for them.Tell them they are loved. Tell that I am walking for them.
One Man Walking In The Name Of Love To DC,

PS, did I say it's official I am walking to DC(-: You can find all about my walk at And if you want to find out more about my first historic walk to DC. From Mark Larson from his "Legion of Davids" an online community that shares the efforts of education activists. Here's Mark's 2012 interview with me about the genesis of his first walk to DC.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Here I am Lord, let me be their radical witness

Dr. Mark Naison the founder of National Badass Teachers Association, asked all 52,000 BATS.  To become extremist in their actions to defend children, teachers, and local schools.  When I heard Dr. Naison call,  I remember a dreamer unjustly jailed. A man of the cloth, a man of God, a man of love. He who wrote a letter from his prison prison. He call upon American to become extremist for love. He wrote : “Was not Jesus an extremist for love? . . .then he asked: "the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.” So I am answering Dr. Naison's call, and I am answering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. question. What follow is my extremist plan of love for our nation's public schools, their children, and their teachers.

Ring every bell; shout it on every street corner, in every hamlet, and from every mountaintop.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner is walking to Washington DC again.
Tell everyone you know that silence and apathy are not acceptable, when children are turned in data and profits.

Tell every parent,
Every teacher,
Every child,
I hear their cries.

Tell the President,
Tell every Senator,
Tell every member of Congress,
Tell the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,
That them that the people have a witness,
Tell that witness is coming to DC,
 Proclaiming an end this reign of testing abuse.

Tell every BAT, that the Walking Man is timing his walk to their Washington DC Congress,
Tell parents, students, and teachers I plan on meeting a 1000 parents and teachers on my walk.
I will open my heart, open my soul, and listen deeply to their stories,
I shall carry their tears, their hurt, and hopes to DC,
I will be their witness in in our nation's capitol.

Who Am I?
I have no money,
I have no power,
I am not connected to the politically powerful,
I do not dine with millionaires and billionaires,

Who Am I?
I am an AFT Legacy teacher,
At eight years old, I heard a man share a dream in DC in 63,
Holding on to my grandfather's hand that dreamer's dream,
Fell sweetly into my heart,
Where I have held it closely,
Where it comforted me on dark days,
Where it built my character,
Where it planted my integrity,
Where it planted my hope for better days,

Who Am I?
I am an AFT Legacy Teacher,
And that dream empowers me,
To walk,
To march,
And to bear witness to injustice,
Witness to the 12 years of abuse to our nation's public school children and their teachers.

So you tell everyone,
The Walking Man is coming to DC.
The mission is 400 miles
40 days,
Every step a blessing,
Heeding Martin's call to be an extremist for love,
Love, love, love,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner If you want to know who I was listening to on my walk today? It was Barry Lane "Jesse Turner Walking Man" 

In the name of Love

Election came and went, now it's time to for the people to do the people's work. Freedom is not free, and injustice does not just walk away. Forcing poor schools to compete against each other will never be anything, but dog eat dog education policy.

Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten said:
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.”

So in the name of love, I will step up my battle against education policies that reduce our children to data, our teachers to wardens, and our schools into proficiency factories.
In the name of love,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

If people are wondering what this Walking Man is listening to on his walk this morning? It's Leela James singing that old Sam Cook tune "A is gonna come"...> &lt;