In case you missed it, while at a rally in El Paso, TX, on Feb. 11, Donald Trump Jr. referred to teachers in America as "losers." In a speech aimed to pump up his father's conservative base, he got on the topic of education and said, "You don't have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don't have to do it. Because you can think for yourselves. They can't."
First off: sure, Jan. Secondly, his choice of words quickly started a movement on social media using the hashtag #loserteacher, and many educators took part in it. One New York-based teacher named Kirsten Thiel Clagnaz opted to pen her own response on Facebook, and it's sharp.
"I am the loser teacher who promised her emotionally compromised students in the days after Sandy Hook that I would keep them safe."
"I am that 'loser teacher,'" she wrote. "I am the loser teacher who asks parents not to label all of their child's supplies, because I know there will be children who don't, or can't bring in a box of crayons, and I want all the crayons to be our crayons. I am the loser teacher who asks parents that can send in a nice snack for their child to consider also sending in a bag of pretzels or box of cereal so the kids who don't have a snack to bring can have snack with their friends too."
For many teachers throughout the US, sometimes that means spending their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.
"I am the loser teacher who will go out and buy those missing supplies or snacks if we run out," she wrote. "I am the loser teacher who will put one kids extra clothes on another if the need arises, because I assume nobody would want to let any child sit in soiled clothes. I am the loser teacher who tries to push language like 'we' instead of 'I,' and 'ours' instead of 'mine.'"
And it's not just school supplies she's worried about. With security threats that warrant regular lockdown drills, Kirsten admitted she has a lot more on her plate.
"I am the loser teacher who strives to have children help one another up if they fall, wait when someone needs extra time, seek help from one another, offer help to each other, and ultimately learn and grow together," she said. "And I am the loser teacher comforting students in a lockdown drill. I am the loser teacher who promised her emotionally compromised students in the days after Sandy Hook that I would keep them safe."
Despite the disgraceful choice of words from the president's son, she still shows up to work every single day ready to teach the youth of today.
"I am the loser teacher who knows that this kind of rhetoric from the president's son, on a national stage, emboldens people who would come into a school to hurt children and teachers," she wrote. "I am the loser teacher heading into work today to offer unconditional love and support to the children with whom I work, despite the challenges I face personally, and despite the disrespect teachers face nationally."