10:20 a.m.: Across the state of California, public schools are holding mock disaster drills to draw attention to the disaster that’s currently facing public education. Some schools organized rallies and teach-ins, some are marching, and some are walking out.
Due to safety concerns because of major construction at Oakland High School, teacher Jessie Muldoon said that they had disaster drills in their classrooms, followed by classroom discussions on the crisis. Here, we reprint an excerpt from a statement, written by Oakland Education Association member and special education teacher Payton Carter, which was read over the intercom:
The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile remind us of the potential devastation that could happen if an earthquake strikes again in Oakland, and the dangers of living close to active fault lines…However, we are taking this time to address another statewide disaster that is destroying our public school system, slowly crumbling the walls of our once exemplary institutions, and shaking the very foundations of our society.
Today, every school in the state is holding a mock fire drill to protest the cuts to education at all levels. This simultaneous fire drill symbolizes the state of emergency currently affecting public education.
Oakland High School is facing $1.1 million in cuts, which will affect staffing in all areas of the school. We will potentially have bigger class sizes, less security, secretaries and custodians. Students and staff protested before school today, holding picket signs and passing out flyers.
If anybody listening would like to participate in large-scale protest actions after the school day, you are encouraged to join thousands of other students, parents and teachers in attending the Oakland Education Association sponsored rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland which will run from 12-4 p.m., march en masse to the state building, and then BART to the Civic Center in San Francisco for a massive regional rally and protest starting at 5 p.m.
Every school in the state of California is holding disaster drills as I speak, but elementary, middle and high school students are not the only ones affected. Every CSU and UC in the state is also holding huge rallies to protest the cuts and tuition hikes on their campuses….
On September 24, 2009, a student strike at UC Berkeley planted the seeds of this now nationwide action. Students tired of cuts and tuition increases felt it was time to demand that California fulfill Article 9 of its constitution, which declares that public education is a fundamental right of its residents.
This means increased funding! It is time for corporations and wealthy Californians to pay their fair share! It’s time for all of us to get involved and fight for what is every Californian’s right. This is not just about your future; it is about all of our future.
Can we get a confirmation on this? Anybody know of schools who have been holding fire drills?? Is that the photo from the CUTEST ACTIVIST PICTURE OF THE DAY?????