Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did YOU Know About The Boycott?

Today is September 2nd, which is the day all the little badasses who have been running around freely since June wreaking havoc on the neighborhood return to school with their backpacks full of pencils, notebooks, and anxiety.

But in the Chicago Public School system, 2,000 of those children aren't going to class. They are participating in a boycott of school funding, choosing instead to attempt to enroll at New Trier High School in Winnetka versus the poorly funded schools in the Chicago area.

This whole movement is being led by Rev. James Meeks, who believes that it isn't fair that suburban schools spend up to thousands of dollars more per child than Chicago Public Schools do.

I see two problems with this situation. It's disheartening in this day and age that people still have to go to these means for equality. And what's more shocking is that next to nobody knows about it.

I have been educated in public school my whole life (except for the one year I spent in Catholic school in kindergarten, but that was because I didn't even live in Chicago then). But I had to go to great lengths to get the education I got. There was a grammar school literally a block and a half away from my house; I opted to take a bus 20 minutes to get to school. There was a high school 5 blocks down the street...I opted to take two trains and a bus for an hour and a half each way to go to school. I shouldn't have had to do that, and children who don't have the same opportunities I have shouldn't be locked into the neighborhood schools I had to escape from.

I saw the headline first on the website of the Chicago Sun-Times...understandable, seeing as it is Chicago news. But then I wanted to see if anybody else in the world cared at all about what monumental event was taking place here. The ONLY non-Chicago publication I saw that mentioned anything about it was the Washington Post (kudos to you). I went to CNN.com to see what was so important that they couldn't feature a story on education...and do you know what it was? Whats-her-face Palin's daughter being pregnant at 17.

You mean to tell me some white woman's daughter being pregnant is more important and more newsworthy than a story of 2,000 black children led by a black reverend boycotting one of the biggest school systems in the nation??

CNN, you are a reputable news outlet. But you can certainly try to do a little better.

As for those students participating in that boycott today: you are brave students. Keep it up!


Raft3r said...

sad news indeed

education should be for everyone

KC said...

Hmmm , thanks to your blog - am coming to terms with harsh reality !! Cos here in India and the east - we always think that we are the ones who have all these kinda "equality" and "Discrimination" problems , and the US to us is like some fairy-land where everyone lives Happily ever after !! But its shocking to find stuff like these happening even there !! Hmmm.. Its so true that the Grass is always greener on the other side !!

Demiera said...

@ Raft3r - I completely agree. You shouldn't get a better education just because of where you live or your skin color.

@ kc - The US works hard to have a "holier-than-thou" look to the rest of the world...but it's the stories like these that get overlooked and kind of pushed aside, for fear they may taint our "glorious" reputation.

Video Vix[o]n said...

man, i couldn't agree with you more. you can't find anything newsworthy in the "news" these days. that's why ppl don't know these things. you gotta actually get out there and search for real news, ain't that a bitch. good thing ppl like you put other ppl on.

@ KC: I wish it was all fairy land over here, but nothing more than a final fantasy.