May 16, 2011

A Call For Civility

Olivia Demas is a mother of three who lives in Ohio.
Opponents of education reform are crossing a line.
  • In January, a mom in my hometown of Akron, Ohio was sent to jail for 9 days for seeking and pursuing the best school option she could find, ultimately getting her children into the "wrong" school district so that they could get a better education.
  • Last week, a mother of five in Indiana and the President of her local PTA spoke out in favor of the StudentsFirst agenda. In response, an organized team of intimidators looked her up, wrote scathing personal attacks, and even posted information about her children.
  • This month, a teacher in Nevada decided to speak out about antiquated state policies that serve to put adult interests ahead of her students. As a reward, she has been greeted with calls from her fellow teachers to leave her school, or worse, leave the teaching profession.
  • In December, 275 parents in Compton, California signed a "parent trigger" petition to have McKinley Elementary School turned over to a new manager -- but defenders of the status quo in Compton harassed and intimidated the parents until a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered them to stop. Even today, the fate of the school this fall depends on litigation.
This has to stop. Debate around school reform issues should be intense; disagreements will be sharp, and rhetoric will get heated. After all, the stakes are incredibly high; but there has to be a line.
The parents noted above are speaking up in their role as good and concerned parents. Teachers should have the right to speak out as teachers. All of us should have a right to speak without being bullied and harassed.
StudentsFirst was started in order to give a voice to parents, teachers and concerned citizens who know that our country's future depends on comprehensive education reform focused on the interests of students. Please join the movement by signing up at and recruit your friends and family to do the same. We are fighting for our future, and we need your help.

No comments:

Post a Comment