“Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything” Alexander Hamilton
I like this one because it is short and to the point. It is especially timely in light of yesterday’s organized protest walk-out, led by students of Newark Public Schools. Based on what I have seen, I must say that I am impressed. Not by the fact that they walked out of school, but instead by the fact that they had the maturity to recognize that the adults have, up to this point, been fiscally irresponsible with school funds and now the educational system will suffer. Teachers and students are innocent victims, as they do not control the purse strings.
Want to know why I am really impressed by these kids? They had the guts to do something that so many ‘adults’ are afraid to do: Take a stand. They know that ‘important people’ (a.k.a. the Boogeyman and his cousin Big Brother) will not listen to them. They still hold on to that ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ school of thought. Anyone with an MBA or Ph.D. from an Ivy League school can make decisions for the poor, downtrodden kids, from broken single-parent homes, who live in the drug infested and crime ridden inner-cities (Wow, that was a lot of sarcasm for one sentence). Everyone except, of course, those kids and their single parents. Oh yeah, their teachers have very little input as well.
So I pose this question: Who will speak for the students, parents, and teachers? Pretty soon, if certain chancellors/superintendents have their way, some teachers will be without the counsel protection of a union. Is this the only thing keeping teachers from openly speaking out? Have conditions in public schools gotten so bad that teachers literally fear losing their jobs if they disagree with the dictatorship leadership? For the opponents of unions, I suggest you take a riding tour throughout the southern states that do not have unions. Ask teachers about what really goes on in their buildings. Take notes. Take really, really descriptive and detailed notes. Ask teachers in Title I schools what those funds were used for. Chances are, the majority of them do not know. Why? Because, for the most part, teachers are never invited to participate in the decision-making process. Lastly, interview parents who say they want their kids to get a good education, to improve their options in life, and ask them why they are not more involved in school-related activities. I already know the answers to these questions, but I would be curious to see what responses others get.
Dear teachers, parents, education ‘officials,’ and politicians: Do you know where your students are? They are making a statement, right there in the streets of Newark.