Thousands of students in Philadelphia are staging a massive, city-wide walkout today to protest the under-resourcing of their schools and school closures. A number of OTL allies are participating in the event, including the Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change, two of the largest student organizing groups in the city. Follow #walkout215 on Twitter for for live updates! (We've embedded a few of the Tweets and pictures in this post – scroll down to view.)
And check out this article from The Nation that gives the background for the student walkouts:
Running a massive deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars, Philadelphia’s school system is planning to eliminate all sports, extracurricular activities, counselors and libraries—beyond which, for schools eviscerated by austerity politics, there’s not much left to lose. At noon today, May 17, thousands of students are expected to walk out of class and flood downtown.
"It’s time that the City Council and Governor Corbett started listening to students," says Sharron Snyder, a junior at Benjamin Franklin High School and an organizer with the Philadelphia Student Union. "If they spent even one day in my school, they would know that already we don’t have the right resources to succeed."
Walkout organizers state, 'We are willing to break the stereotypes and expectations of urban youth, and are taking this opportunity to tell the world that urban school districts deserve funding, and it is your responsibility under the Commonwealth Charter to provide us with more than a ‘bare bones education.'”
Read the rest here!
"Budget cuts? Ain't nobody got time for that!" #walkout215— Philly Student Union (@215studentunion) May 17, 2013
YUCphilly: Some principals are locking doors do they realize its illegal #walkout215— Youth United 4Change (@YUCphilly) May 17, 2013