We don’t negotiate with children’s lives. Do you?
Sometimes you just have to say no. Period. No negotiations. No compromise. Today is such a time.
A cornerstone of our democracy is a free and high-quality public education available to all. Yet, every minute and in every corner of the country, essential elements of public education are being chipped away. These are not random attacks: altogether, they evince a carefully coordinated strategy designed to replace our public education system with one that is privately controlled. Success will be measured by cost effectiveness and profit.
Prevailing education reform policies are not supported by peer-reviewed research studies. Instead, they are being foisted upon communities to destroy public education. More importantly, the opportunity for students to experience real learning is eroded, valuing test-based choice, accountability, and punishment over caring relationships, creative and critical thinking, arts-based methods, and inquiry and experimentation within their world. All in the name of the almighty dollar, our children have become their profit.
We have asked, we have explained, we have met – all to no avail. We say, “Enough!”
We begin by asking – if you too are unwilling to concede to this corporate takeover, how can we help you? Call us. Email us. Tweet us. If we can use social media to help publicize what your local paper will not, we will do it. If we can be on the ground in your city to conduct teach-ins, to facilitate organized mass actions, or to assist in any way needed; we will be there. We do not negotiate with children’s lives.
While we continue our weekly actions at United Opt Out National we will also push hard where we are asked to push. We will do our best to bring to the forefront what mainstream media hides from the public. Join us today. Do not negotiate. Make noise. Act. Now.
As we organize to educate and create actions, we will be calling on others to join us as “Liberators” and fight on their local fronts with United Opt Out National, to be heard, to make noise and to act. In the words of William Lloyd Garrison, who famously declared in the first issue of The Liberator: “I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
Shaun Johnson, Morna McDermott, Laurie Murphy, Peg Robertson, Tim Slekar and Ceresta Smith
6 thoughts on “Don’t Negotiate. Make Noise. Act. Now.”
- Bob Valiant on May 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm said:I think you know where I stand on the issues you have outlined and I stand with you on your statement, “Join us today. Do not negotiate. Make noise. Act. Now.” If there is anything I can do to help get out the word, at http://dumpduncan.org, at Dump Duncan on Facebook, at http://valetc.com, or at http://ksdcitizens.org let me know.
- Mark Naison on May 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm said:At a time when the power of great wealth has corrupted discourse on education policy in the media, in both political parties, and in large portions of academic, United Opt Out keeps the spirit of popular resistance alive in the tradition of the abolitionists, the labor activists of the Depression, and the non-violent protests of the Civil Rights movement. As billionaire entrepreneurs and philanthropists set their sites on public education as a sphere for profit taking and for obedience training for the low wage labor force of the future, United Opt out seeks to mobilize parents, teachers and students to claim public education as a sphere where democratic values are taught and democratic practices are sustained. I will use all the powers at my disposal to support this movement which is, in truth, a battle for the best of our democratic traditions. My own tactical approach can be summarized as follows
We SHALL overcome! How can we lose with the stuff we use!
- Pam on May 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm said:I do not negotiate with people who bully children and teachers.
- MatthewWBrooks on May 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm said:We do not negotiate! The stakes are children’s lives and they are not our’s to give away. I stand with the UOO administrators as they have stood with me.
- Horace Mann on May 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm said:This is a statement for the ages.
Thank you for your incredible work here.
- jim horn on June 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm said:Yep, that’s me.