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“We are BadAss. We are legion. And we will force the nation to hear our voice.” -BadAss Teachers Association

BadAss Teachers Unite Arms Activist Teachers

In anticipation of writing this review, I have carried my advance readers copy of Mark Naison’s book BadAss Teachers Unite: Reflections on Education, History, and Youth Activism around with me for the past month. It has been in my book bag, my purse, my suitcase, my bed, my car, and my classroom. I have read excerpts -- then re-read them. I have annotated furiously when a particularly poignant passage reflects BATs mission statement, goals, actions, or resonated with me as a teacher or parent.

I have tried, and failed miserably, to write this review on multiple occasions. So, here I am, as usual, at the eleventh hour, writing this on a BatWing and a prayer, and, hoping that I can do justice to a book that should be read by every teacher, parent, student, and concerned citizen in America.

Simply put, our public schools, teachers, and students are under attack. This is War -- and this book, Badass Teachers Unite -- is a Battle Cry, a Call to Action, and a red cape waved in the faces of the Worshipers of Wall Street, who prostrate themselves in front of the greedy Golden Bull and sell our schools out to the highest bidders.

BadAss Teachers Unite is a lightweight, compact book, a perfect personification of the the BadAss author himself, who grew up boxing in the Bronx streets, and like him, every entry packs one heck of a punch.

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BadAss Teachers Unite Arms Activist Teachers

So, my friends -- I throw the activism gauntlet down to you all. I challenge you to read this book, girde yourself in armour, arm yourself with your pen, your wit, and your courage, and be BadAss. As Brian Jones states in the forward of this book, “ When you are at the end of your rope, in need of a reminder of what the struggle is all about, of what public schools can and should mean to our communities, to our young people, and to ourselves, I hope you pick up this book and let Mark Naison speak to you. If you’ve read this far, you’re on your way.”

Mark, I raise my virtual glass in salute, celebration, and solidarity with you, my BadAss friend. I wish I could be in Brooklyn today celebrating the publication of this book. Alas, I am miles away in Tennessee, so, without further ado, I leave you with this rhyme:

“Eat some wings for me, my friend,
and drink a beer or three,,
my heart may be in Brooklyn,
but my soul’s in Tennessee.”

lucianna sanson

I love you Mark Naison. Thank you for being a BadAss inspiration, not only to me, but to so many other teachers, parents, and education activists. In so many ways, you are the heart and soul of the Badass Teachers Association. It wouldn’t exist without you.

Lucianna Sanson