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Forum Post: Occupy High School

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 23, 2012, 5:17 p.m. EST by ztohovey (11)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My name is Ava and I'm a junior in high school. Right now, I attend public school in Indiana but have been in high schools in Michigan and Chicago as well, everything from music boarding schools whose tuition (not to mention housing) is more than some private universities, to public schools with a 51% drop-out rate. I don't think the wealth-divide in this country could have been more clearly illustrated for me than it has been these last three years. In any rate, at so many of the schools I've been in, I've met students bristling under budget cuts, bad textbooks, no facilities and a population that would rather give their lives to a corporation than pay one cent more in taxes for their kids' educations. We're in an odd place in high school, not being able to strike out directly at the forces that bind us to our cardboard lunches and vending-machine lessons because the causes of our strife aren't right in front of us. But I feel that Occupy Wall Street can give us, the younger 99%, a voice. I've put together a website for more cohesive high school organization. It's main point, right now, is to get high schoolers talking and sign a general letter of protest (SIGN THE LETTER), also open to parents/guardians and teachers. I want the site to be a starting point: there's a section where students can link any social network page, blog, or website they create for their high school to this main site, a place for discussion about issues specific to high schoolers (which I'm still working on, but it's meant to be fluid and everything is a creation of collective input), and an opportunity to share posters to put up at school.

Here's the site: http://occupyhighschool.com/

I hope it helps. I feel that it will facilitate more youth involvement and bring Occupy to schools around the country. Please take a look, spread the word, and join in by leaving a comment. I'm emailing a link to other education-related Occupy sites, like OccupyEducation (everything's in the LINKS section).

3 Comments

3 Comments


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[-] 1 points by ztohovey (11) 1 year ago

Hi,

This is Ava again. I started Occupy High School (occupyhighschool.org) 2 years ago with Occupy Chicago. Now, we have about 50 high schools signed up with us--and an opportunity to merge with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) has come up, as Occupy Colleges recently merged with SDS. We really want to reach out to more high schools and tell them about this, especially in time for the spring Days of Action for Education. Please email occupyhighschool@gmail.com for more info, and visit our website! We need to get in touch to start organizing NOW!

Thanks!

[-] 1 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

Hi Ava,

This is a good thing you are doing with this...

It is important to note that many issues in schools also have to do with manipulation of distribution contracts, like text books, lunches and other contracts that interfere with the quality of education... (even corporate influence)...

You may have already seen it but the documentary 'Waiting for Superman' goes into some of what you are dealing with, and is well done, showing some of these problems are often unnecessary and can be addressed by changing the influences on the educational system...

Also 'A touch of greatness' is also a very good documentary about an alternative teacher and teaching approach and how this can have a positive effect, and also about advocating (and resistance) to progress in teaching methods...

Your concern to be involved and look at these issues shows good spirit and initiative, and good luck with your website and raising awareness, as this is an important area and could be very helpful... good job...!!

Dave

[-] 2 points by ztohovey (11) 2 years ago

Hi Dave, Thank you very much. I'm trying to say exactly that in the site: These issues aren't black and white, but rather are only just too grey and have their roots outside of the classroom. It's partly cartooning the situation that has led to some of the neoliberal quick-fixes schools are struggling with right now...The contracting-out of education is just one of the staggering burdens balanced on the backs of students, and we have to be careful about naming causes and effects. Thank you for telling me about 'A touch of greatness;' I'll take a look. My main hope for the site is getting students talking about why things are the way they are, to stop accepting them like some great mystery. I can't thank you all enough--this is the first time I've ever seen political graffiti on desks!

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