Today, January 21st, 2013, is a remarkable day in history – a day that pays tribute to leadership, civil rights, and the power found in the voice of each individual.

In his second inaugural address, President Obama declared, “You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., years earlier, also emphasized the importance of our voice and actions when he stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Today, in honor of this moment in history, the administration of United Opt Out National proudly kicks off the official launch to Occupy DOE 2.0: The Battle for Public Schools and March to the White House. These are the times of challenge and controversy of which MLK spoke. It is also time that, as our President mandated, we lift our voices in support of the ideals that we value.

We cannot and will not stand silent as forces threaten to dismantle our system of public education, erode respect for the teaching profession, and erase opportunities for comprehensive and meaningful learning and development. We will stand tall and meet our obligation as citizens to be heard.

Please join us as we explore opportunities for resisting destructive ed. reform policies and for rebuilding our public education system.

The following is a detailed schedule for April 4-7, 2013. Click this link for a shortened schedule to print. The event takes place at the U.S. Dept. of Education at 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington D.C., 20202, outside, on the plaza. Here is the official press release with contact info. Donations accepted HERE. Official poster HERE. Livestream is HERE. RSVP HERE. Rules and parameters for the march on Saturday HERE. Need free sleeping? Email Peg at and please read HERE. Hashtag for the event is #uoodc13 .


April 4th – Day One: The Battle for Public Schools

9:00 a.m.
Occupy the DOE 2.0: The Battle of the Public Schools begins with introductions from United Opt Out National Administrators: Shaun Johnson, Morna McDermott McNulty, Laurie Murphy, Peggy Robertson, Tim Slekar and Ceresta Smith. So, who are we?

Shaun Johnson is a former public school teacher, current teacher educator, blogger and online radio show host of At the Chalk Face. Contact Shaun at 412-965-1196 and .

Morna McDermott has been working in, with, and around public schools for over twenty years. Currently she is an Associate Professor at Towson University, in Maryland where she teaches various theory and methods courses in the College of Education. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and arts-informed inquiry in K-post secondary educational settings, and working with beginning and experienced educators. She explores how the arts serve as a form of literacy that challenges traditional classroom learning and dominant narratives. Recent art work and installations have emphasized the value of art as a “public pedagogy” in creating grass roots social-political-educational change. Dr. McDermott currently serves as the Arts Based Educational Research section editor for the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. In addition to publishing in educational journals and books, she writes ongoing columns for She currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and two children. Contact Morna at or 410-294-3223.

Laurie Murphy is the Director of Resource Development for a nonprofit agency serving multiple counties in central Florida. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. Laurie has strong ties to the educational community, as her husband, two of her children, and countless others in prior generations have all served their communities as teachers. Laurie was a charter member of Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action, Organizing Committee. Contact Laurie at or 863-381-8755.