Last week, students, parents and education advocates from cities across the US converged on Washington, D.C., to protest school closures as part of Journey for Justice. A reporter from The Nation magazine rode with the Pennsylvania delegation in their bus caravan and interviewed student organizers throughout the entire event! Check out some of the fantastic quotes from student organizers at the Journey for Justice march and rally:
“At the same time that [PA] Governor [Tom] Corbett is cutting school funding, he’s spending more money on prisons,” Andre Dunbar, a senior at Sayre High School, belted to a crowd of students and community activists. “This shows his perception of us as students.”
Dunbar is a member of the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU), which, alongside Youth United for Change, has been organizing students to lobby policymakers since the city ran its own district. Both are part of the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, which held a citywide conference with several hundred people last week.
Alycia Duncan is a junior at West Philadelphia High School. Before Duncan’s time, PSU spearheaded a decade-long campaign to get a new high school building and stave off charter conversion. “When I heard ‘youth-led organization,’ it just had me amped,” she says. “I communicate with my teachers. I would like all students to have that.”
Andre Dunbar, who's quote above, wrote a passionate guest blog post on Education Week in the lead up the Journey for Justice. You can read it here.
The photos of the rally on this page were taken by Joe Bishop, the OTl Campaign's Policy Director.