Teachers know that places of learning are critical to advancing the cause of an educated, democratic society. The importance of investment in schools cannot be understated. Whether they are constructed in former war zones, or serve military personnel who have children abroad with them, schools have the capacity to change the lives of all who enter their halls.
Educators also look to the historical examples of walls, whether massive constructs built by China hundreds of years, or by Romans across then Brittania in now northern UK, or even around the entire sector that became West Berlin. Walls inevitably fail; what remains of them is a cautionary tale to our tribalism.
In order to build additional wall on the Southern border, the Trump Administration diverted federal funding meant for other projects, including $11 million for a fire station replacement in Beaufort, South Carolina; nearly $95 million for an elementary school at Camp Mctureous in Japan; and nearly $80 million for an elementary school replacement project in Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
Schools invite collaboration, learning, socialization, and a sense of belonging. Walls promote and enforce division. America’s president has again placed himself in opposition to the education community.