by The Philadelphia Student Union February 4, 2014
On February 1st, 2014, hundreds of students assembled at Edison High School to strategize on how to reclaim a high public quality education in Philadelphia. Following the closure of over 20 public schools last year along with the deep cuts to staff and programming, students are feeling the affects every day in their schools.
Christa and Kathy holding down the registration table for the Turn Up for the Movement citywide student assembly.
PSU and YUC members welcomed all the participants and let them know about the day ahead.
In the School-to-Prison Pipeline workshop, students learned about the connections between the war on drugs, hip hop and mass incarceration in the U.S. All workshops were faciliated by young people.
Students gathered to discuss their solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline and budget cuts to public education. By holding a massive public assembly open to all high school students, the youth organizers at the Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change hoped to draw more young people into organizing for high quality public education. A youth leader with the Philadelphia Student Union, Devonne Fisher, said, “We held this event to bring the youth of Philly together to show that we all care about our schools. This is just the beginning of more large student mobilizations to fight back against the attack on public education.” Devonne, whose school was closed last year, is a senior at South Philadelphia High School and an organizer of the event.
PSU member, Sharron, faciliating a discussion about the effects of budget cuts on students.
Students took a look back at the budget cuts to education over the past three years.
Using resources from SOUL (thank you!), students led a workshop called “Young & the Restless” about the role of young people in direct action and movement building.
Cierra Mallette, a member of Youth United for Change and a student at Edison High School says that they have organized this event to “…Educate those who are still left with questions unanswered from the budget cuts, student to prison pipeline, and any other effects that us as students have experienced from people in power, who didn’t think about how we would feel or how it would affect us.”
More pictures to come soon!