"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Support the Courage of New Jersery High School Students As They March to Save Public Education

Tens of thousands of high school students are marching and protesting this morning to save their schools from the axe wielded by New Jersey's conservative governor. As Christie works to slash the most important public service in the state, he "has refused to renew the so-called millionaires’ income tax, which applies to incomes over $400,000."

From the Star-Ledger:
Thousands of New Jersey high school students are expected to walk out of classes today to protest education cuts proposed by Gov. Chris Christie.

"A lot of things are being cut, like clubs and after school activities," said Kathi Lloyd, a senior at Newark's University High School. "A lot of kids come to school for the clubs and if they cut those, school is really boring for them."

Lloyd, 17, joined thousands of fellow New Jersey students on Facebook, where the protest was first organized. According to the site, more than 16,000 students plan to leave school between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Students from seven high schools in Newark are expected to walk out at 1 p.m. and march to the school board building at 2 Cedar St. to protest cuts in after school programs and layoffs. Students from around the state are expected to participate in similar marches throughout the day.

The protests were initiated by Michelle Ryan Lauto, an 18-year-old college student who spent her high school years in Bergen County. Lauto, said she set up a Facebook event page about a month ago encouraging the walkouts.

By Monday evening, more than 16,000 people said they’d be participating — a number that was rising by hundreds every few hours.

“It’s insane,” she said of the interest. “I mean, I’m very excited.” Lauto has family members who will be affected by the cuts but said her aim was to show that students were genuinely concerned for the welfare of their schools.

“I think there’s this general stereotype about high schoolers being very apathetic,” she said. “We’re the ones that are going to be affected by this. So we have to show we don’t like what’s being done.”

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