Sunday, June 8, 2008


I'm curious as to how this takes place during school hours. Are kids being pulled by the parents? Maybe it is an official school trip. It is hard to believe the teachers or admins can in any way be involved without repercussions. Yet, these cuts seem to have made some principals bolder in their criticisms. And, there could be bad pub for Tweed if they do retaliate.


Public School Kids Barrage Steps of to Demand Klein Rescind Budget Cuts;

Experience Democracy in Action

WHO: NYC Public School Kids

WHAT: Rally, deliver protest letters and signed posters;

protest $450 Million NYC Public Schools Budget Cuts;

learn what it means to have their voices heard.

WHEN: Every school day in June until Chancellor Joel Klein

appears on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse to announce

full restoration of the DOE budget (see full schedule for week

one, below).

WHERE: Tweed Courthouse (52 Chambers Street, Manhattan)

WHY: Despite increased state allocations for NYC schools, Klein

has chopped NYC public school budgets already by $180

million this year. An additional cut of as much $450 million is

planned for next year.

WEEK ONE: Monday, June 9th – PS 75M students arrive at Tweed

Courthouse, 12:30

Tuesday, June 10th – Central Park East II10:00

Wednesday, June 11th – TBA

Thursday, June 12th – Six Schools from District 2 – 12:30

Friday, June 13th – High School Kids Express Solidarity

Murrow/Stuyvesant – 4:00

Contact: Paula Seefeldt, PA Board, PS 87;;

Cynthia Wachtell, PA Board, PS 87;;


1 comment:

  1. There's a string of comments on this subject that came up on Edwize, which I'm putting here because I have similar concerns about using kids in demonstrations:

    FIRST, MINE: I totally disagree with using kids for protests, especially the young ones.
    Imagine if this were a protest to fight for religious or political freedom: parents would be criticized for using their kids as crusaders in the campaign.
    If you have trouble with that, imagine using kids to fight for religious freedoms when the very practices in question are illegal (like polygamy or female mutilation). Most people would vilify parents allowing their kids to participate in those kinds of events.
    Using kids in any kind of political protest is the same thing. They are too young to intellectualize the message on their own and can ONLY be spouting the message of their parents. It’s DEAD WRONG.
    The UFT should not encourage this sort of thing, or even allow it.

    LEO CASEY: As a parent, I have often encouraged my children to become involved in civic activism and political causes, much as the parents do here. In a way that is quite different from my responsibilities as a teacher, I see my responsibilities as a parent as involving nurturing into moral and political values, including the responsibility to protest and speak truth to power. It is no different than parents raising children in a religious community and tradition.

    JONATHAN: I have mixed feelings about organizing little kids to protest… They send a powerful message, but to what extent are they displaying their (understandably partial) feelings, and to what extent are they obeying their parents?
    As the kids get older, that question goes away. The responsibility to protest grows as the ability to make autnonomous judgments and decisions grows.

    LEO CASEY: Jonathan: I think the logic of your position would mean that children should not be taken to a church, synagogue or mosque until they reach the age of majority and are able to make autonomous judgments on their own. I think it is legitimate for parents to raise their children in a political tradition, just as they raise them in a religious tradition.

    JONATHAN: By “mixed feelings” I meant “mixed feelings,” not more, not less. I even clarified, with one reason for, and one reason against.
    It would be best not to react to “the logic of my position.” I write what I mean; there’s no call for extending those words to extremes. That’s not how I think.

    ME AGAIN: Ah, but I’ll take him up on that point, about whether children should or should not “be taken to a church, synagogue or mosque until they reach the age of majority.”
    A whole lot of us feel that little kids shouldn’t get religious training at a young age, because it’s proselytizing, even brainwashing.
    Politics, protests, and religion are all points of view. Make a small kid talk for you, and you make him a puppet. He’s not forming these ideas on his own, you are.
    Educators should take a dim view of justifications for this kind of behavior. They’re in the business of training minds to think, not to parrot back words that may have a smidgen of meaning for them but not the complexity of the fuller context in which they are spoken.

    LEO CASEY: There is a vital difference between raising a child as a parent and teaching a child in school. It is wrong for a school to decide that it will child in a particular religious or political tradition. Yet for most of us, raising your own children in a particular religious and political tradition is a vital part of being a parent and providing your children with a sound moral and ethical foundation. Respect and tolerance for all people they meet, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation; fair and equitable treatment for all, poor as well as rich; the need to hear all points of view; working for the common good as well as their individual needs and rights; the responsibility to promote those precepts in civic life: these political precepts have been a fundamental part of my children’s upbringing, moral rules as basic as not stealing and not lying. I have taken my children with me into the voting booth when I vote and to demonstrations supporting these values. As they grew older, I have engaged in dialogue with them over the meaning and purpose of these moral rules, and they are certainly free to question them. But they do so from the viewpoint of knowing them all. To teach them anything less would be, from my point of view, an abdication of my parental responsibility.
    I would defend your right to raise your children as you wish, without any introduction to the world of religion or politics, even though I think it is quite mistaken. But I will also defend raising children with a solid ethical and moral foundation.

    ME AGAIN, which I have not posted but will do now: Leo says it himself "It is wrong for a school to decide that it will child in a particular religious or political tradition." THAT's MY POINT. The UFT shouldn't be backing or encouraging these protests where kids are used as mouthpieces for aadults.


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