Myron Edwards is 23 years old and lives in Milwaukee. This election year, he says public education is the most important issue for him.
Edwards has been working in education for about three years, including in Chicago and Milwaukee public schools.
"I feel there’s a lot of chaos within public schools," he said. "There really is no control over kids, and I feel like a lot of teachers are actually scared of students."
Edwards said he feels like a lot of teachers aren’t looking to help students and don’t understand the situations some Milwaukee students are coming from.
"I think that this is something politicians and leaders should be very concerned about because we have a whole generation of youth being funneled straight from public schools to prisons without ever having the opportunity to fully utilize their education to develop themselves," he said.
"I feel there’s a lot of chaos within public schools," said Milwaukee educator Myron Edwards. "There really is no control over kids, and I feel like a lot of teachers are actually scared of students."
Recent data from the Pew Research Center found the incarceration rate in the United States is at a 20-year low. Still, the country continues to top the rest of the world with its overall incarceration rate — a fact Edwards said he finds alarming.
Edwards said adults sometimes write students off as inherently bad for something like selling drugs when, in another light, that could be seen as having work incentives and skills.
He said he feels students are not reaching their full potential and it gives him a pang to see students being disciplined in a way that doesn’t take into account their life experiences.
Edwards also said he would like a greater discussion about the root causes of violence and what prompts young people to engage in it.
"It’s unfortunate to see kids so young dying. It’s something we’re becoming immune to, a lot of people, they don’t even become saddened by it," he said, adding that a lot of times it feels like the victims are being dehumanized.