Monday, October 5, 2009

D.C. STUDENTS WALK OUT OF CLASS IN PROTEST OF IMPENDING TEACHER LAY OFFS



Posted by: Roxxanne Roxxanne


Last Monday (September 28), more than 100 D.C. high school students walked out of class at four local Washington area schools, which included Dunbar Senior High School located in northwest Washington, D.C., in protest of D.C.'s Mayor Adrian Fenty's impending MASSIVE teacher lay off.


The students were protesting because they were angry about the way they say their teachers are being treated.
WASHINGTON - More than 100 D.C. teenagers walked out of class Monday because they're angry about the way they say their teachers are being treated.



Students from four D.C. public high schools converged on the school system's headquarters Monday. They're upset about impending teacher layoffs recently announced by D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.


"I am out there because I want to make a difference," said James Jones. "I think that it's crazy that they're laying off all these teachers. I'm in the 11th grade. I'm trying to graduate next year. I love my teachers."



Concerns about classroom size, meeting graduation requirements and losing teachers with the school year already underway topped their list.



"If they get rid of all our teachers, how are we supposed to learn? We need our teachers," said Donte Debose.


Adults passing by stopped, watched and reacted.


"I think it's great -- great. I am proud of them," said Pauline Harper, a D.C. resident.


Their chants were targeted at Rhee who hasn't publicly disclosed how many teachers will lose their jobs after the city council froze the school's budget -- forcing the cuts. The students also rallied against Mayor Fenty, who said he was impressed by their show of civic action and said their classrooms will remain untouched.


"What the chancellor's proposal does is it doesn't take any teachers out of the classroom," he said.


Fenty said in order to run a school system you have to over-hire in the case of over-enrollment. He said in past years, the system could afford excess teachers on the payroll but can no longer do that with the cuts. The layoffs were announced on Sept. 30.
People can say what they want about former Mayor Marion Berry (him being on dem thangs and a womanizer), but when he was the Mayor of D.C., teachers were not being laid off by the hundreds, when D.C. public schools have been known to have been under staff for decades.


To be fair, the issue regarding the teacher lay off may be that most of the teachers laid off either have gotten comfy with their position and have been abusing the system (although I find that hard to believe seeing as though being a teacher is one of the HARDEST jobs and I can't see any teacher taking the position for sh*ts and giggles) and/or they are unqualified for the position.


Watch the video below of the students protesting!






Video courtesy of ABC's Channel 7 News

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