Violence against Teachers – A Statement

Dear members, educators, dear all,

It is with sadness that we are witnessing the brutal attacks on teachers in a dark time, in 2020. Over the last eight months, five* historians, geographers, and one singer of historical songs have been victims of political, fanatic murder. We pay homage to their courage.

All terror and violence is wrong. Learn to Change is an organisation that advocates freedom of speech and capability for critical thinking. L2C will continue its work to prevent violence and to sustain societies that are democratic in which all can discuss and debate without fear of retribution. This applies to all. A genuine education for democracy is something we need to nurture and cherish, and teacher ae on the front line for this.

Learn to Change is upheld by the values of Human Rights and democracy. We will, in response, be proposing a series of actions (webinars, resources) on democratic values, and especially we want to address the issues of freedom of speech and violence in social media.

We are strengthened by our community of educators who act in courage to sustain democratic societies and the well-being of children, youth and all citizens, in equality, equity and respect for all sorts of diversities.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

With love and respect,
The L2C team

* Source: Network of Concerned Historians

On 2 April 2020, historian Sergei Koltyrin (1953–2020) died in a prison hospital because of untreated cancer in Russia; the family was not allowed to attend his funeral.

On 29 June 2020, Hachalu Hundessa (1986–2020), an Oromo musician known for his songs inspired by Ethiopian history, was shot dead in Ethiopia.

On 6 July 2020, Hisham al-Hashimi (1973–2020), a historian and leading expert on terrorist groups and extremist militias, was shot dead in Iraq.

Between 27 and 30 September 2020, Campo Elías Galindo Álvarez (1951–2020), a retired historian and left-wing political activist, was killed with a knife in Colombia.

On 16 October 2020, Samuel Paty (1973–2020), a history and geography teacher, was beheaded in France.

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