Teaching about Breonna Taylor is a ‘must’ for teachers

No one has been held accountable for the killing of Breonna Taylor, another innocent victim of police, who shot her at least five times in the hallway of her home during the disastrous execution of a search warrant.

A grand jury declined to indict the two police officers who killed Taylor, 26, in her Louisville apartment, finding they had acted in self-defense after one was shot by Taylor’s boyfriend, who stated he did not know the men breaking into the apartment after midnight were police officers. A third officer, Brett Hankison, was fired in June for shooting into the apartments in Taylor’s building, but only charged last week with a lesser offense of first degree wanton endangerment. The residents of those apartments were white, according to an attorney for the Taylor family.

Educators need to encourage students to say their own names when society doesn’t.

If not for Black Lives Matter, Taylor’s case probably would not have received national attention. BLM activists have rallied behind the social media hashtag #sayhername to bring attention to the Black women victims of “racist police violence,” whose stories are often untold and typically don’t make national headlines.

The grand jury decision in Louisville is just one more brutal reminder that Black women are not protected by law or the police in this racist, patriarchal society. This is why I was not surprised by the outcome, only disheartened and dejected. The pall of doubt and cynicism weighs heavy on many, and I often worry that it will extinguish even the hope for a society in which justice is extended to Black people.

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