Student doesn't like being political tool
I haven't found a response yet to my offer to Oceana High School in California to explain why it scheduled a daylong protest and discussion of school budget cuts, instead of using that time for English, math, science and social studies. I have however received this letter from an Oceana High student, which speaks for itself:
Dear Mr. Mathews,
My name is Megan, and I am a student at Oceana High School in Pacifica. Our school recently participated in the statewide Day of Action, where students of all ages protested budget cuts, or should I say, were practically forced to protest budget cuts.
"What do you mean, your teacher didn't make you go?" Were the first words out of a friend of mine's mouth when she got back from the beach where the students had been demonstrating. I admit, I was confused. Why would a teacher make one of their students attend this, knowing that it was a political action? I held my tongue though, and said nothing, because I didn't want the other kids to start talking.
Frankly, I am not a political kind of person. But, I do think that making students into political tools is wrong, even though I have no real view on the matter of budget cuts. Maybe I don't understand the severity of the financial difficulties as well as the teachers do, but I think that I should have had the right to be educated beforehand, at the very least. The workshops explaining why what was being done was important weren't presented to us until after the protesting had already been done.
Making students take a political stand. Not informing the students exactly of what they were doing, nor the consequences of their actions. Not giving us any facts about what was being done until after the fact. Using students as a political tool. In short, what has happened on March 4, 2010 was nothing short of exploitation. I thank my teacher for not having taken part in this, and think rather differently of the teachers that did not do the same.
Megan Rose Pellien
Freshman at Oceana High School
Read Jay's blog every day at http://washingtonpost.com/class-struggle.
| March 11, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories: Jay on the Web | Tags: California school budget protests, Megan Rose Pellien, Oceana High School, student rejects protest
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