Boston students, educators fight school closings
Published Mar 10, 2011 9:47 PM
Students from the Social Justice Academy in Hyde Park militantly marched on
March 2, chanting, “SOS - Save our Schools!” SJA was one of 18
schools that Mayor Thomas Menino’s Boston School Committee voted to close
The students are determined to fight on. At Hyde Park High School, they
discussed the school closings and attacks on public education. Then they
marched to English High School, carrying coffins into a School Committee public
hearing on their proposed budget. The students’ die-in dramatized the
death of public education.
The budget would cut $60 million, close schools, lay off employees and cut
transportation. These plans would limit parents’ choices in
Roxbury’s, Dorchester’s and Mattapan’s oppressed communities,
and harm special education students and English language learners.
Sasha De La Cruz of El Movimiento co-organized the protest, and Fernando Fernii
Rodriguez led chants. Boston School Bus Drivers, Steelworkers Local 8751
provided the sound truck and march security.
The Coalition for Equal Quality Education leafleted for a protest at the
upcoming School Committee budget hearings. A demonstration is called for March
23 at the School Committee headquarters when the vote will be held on the
budget plan. This protest is part of the National Month of Action to Defend
Public Education and the March 31 Student Strike.
On Feb. 15, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights agreed to
investigate a legal complaint filed by the Black Educators Alliance of
Massachusetts. It asserts that the School Department’s plan to close and
merge 18 schools is racist and disproportionately burdens Black and Latino/a
students and parents.
A Boston Globe editorial echoed the racist role of the powerful financial and
political establishment in Boston and the state of Massachusetts. It called on
the school superintendent to proceed quickly to close schools and cut
transportation. This is despite the discrimination complaint.
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