First, let me start off by saying I have always been opinionated; obnoxiously so to many of the people around me. My grandmother always described me as someone who “would argue with a fencepost, come hell or high water.” I suppose in many ways, despite being significantly older, slightly more patient, and perhaps a bit wiser, not much has really changed. Perhaps, it was for the best that I came complete with a fighting spirit because my opinions are often at odds with my environment. See, I am an extremely liberal Democrat who is Southern born and bred. That is an oxymoron if I ever encountered one. Before you ask, yes, I was indeed born here in super-conservative, super-Republican Alabama. Yes, I enjoy football, bonfires, and fishing. I do have a slight accent which is even more pronounced when I sing “Sweet Home Alabama” or yell “Roll tide!” And, yes, I am a Christian. In fact, it was my faith which led me to see that I could never support the GOP establishment in its current form and platform.
However, not supporting something and actively opposing it are two very different things. While I have always voted for Democratic candidates and quietly offered contributions to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, I’ve rarely been very vocal about my political beliefs. In fact, as a young teacher, I’ve often questioned if it was acceptable or even ethical for me to have a vocal agenda. However, after nearly a year of working in a 58% poverty school district which serves a diverse student body, the conclusion I have reached is this: I cannot push my opinions on my students, however, I can, I should, and I will fight to make the world a better place for them.