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Newark students protest unsafe school environment

October 8, 2010
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Yesterday, while well-heeled so-called school leaders published a…manifesto (don’t worry, I’ll get into it today soon😉 ), and some of us closer to home debated the wisdom of spending millions of dollars on new teacher evaluation systems, students at Barringer High School in Newark, NJ walked out to protest the unsafe, unsanitary, and unstructured conditions in which they’d been forced to go to school. Kudos to them for standing up for themselves– here’s hoping more of us join them, and start asking some serious questions about where we put our resources.

From the Star Ledger:

The demonstration came two weeks after authorities said a 15-year-old student was sexually assaulted inside a classroom at the Parker Street school. A 17-year-old student was arrested in connection with the Sept. 22 incident, police said.

Students got the word out about the protest on Facebook and said they’ve had enough of feeling unsafe and learning in an unsanitary school.

“It’s like a jungle,” said Ashley Martinez, a 17-year-old senior at the high school. “The school’s out of control and I don’t feel safe.”

Valerie Merritt, a spokeswoman for Newark schools, said the district has encountered insect and rodent problems over the years, but the system’s facilities team regularly exterminates and conducts daily and weekly cleanings.

On several Facebook pages about the protest — one had more than 300 members who said they would attend the event — students said they need to see a dramatic change.

Tyree Thomas, also a 17-year-old senior, said he created a Facebook page about the protest because he feels like Barringer lacks structure. Thomas said he did not have a class schedule until the third week of school.

Merritt said some of Barringer’s students did not have their class schedules at the start of the school year, however the district worked with the school to ensure each student had a schedule and the “matter has been rectified.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2010 9:50 am

    It appears that the students have tried other means to get the word out about their frustrations but have not been heard. Their aggravation has led them to using other means such as Facebook. Sounds like we already know where some of the donated money should go.

  2. markfriedman1 permalink
    October 10, 2010 8:49 pm

    I just read the manifesto issued today. I will engage this document when I have a little more time to fully dissect it in writing. I have either taught in school systems lead by several of the individuals attached to this document so I wasn’t that surprised as to the names attached to it. Still, the timing of this statement together with the reiterated push for its message is in no way coincidental. More on this later though…..

    • markfriedman1 permalink
      October 10, 2010 8:53 pm

      Correction: I just read the manifesto issued today. I will engage this document when I have a little more time to fully dissect it in writing. I have either taught in school systems lead by the individuals attached to this document or are familiar with them so I wasn’t that surprised as to the names attached to it. Still, the timing of this statement together with the reiterated push for its message is in no way coincidental. More on this later though…..

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