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