Hunger Strike for Education

More from the pages of South Bronx School;

How have we gotten to this point? How have we gotten to be on the precipice of the death of education in the United States of America? There is plenty of blame to go around. But, we need to look inward. There are two things that are hurting us as educators that need to be fixed before we can reverse the course education has taken. The culture of teaching and apathy. But there is a solution.

I’m not going to get too much into the culture and the apathy. I really don’t want to paint with a broad brush for I know there are plenty of people out there that are fighting the good fight. But there are too many out there that just are too ignorant or too apathetic to do anything.

Why aren’t cops, firefighters, paramedics, sanitation workers being attacked? Simple. These are male dominated fields. I am not trying to be misogynistic here, I am sure I have stated this before, but if teachers were mostly male, education would not be dying today.

A while back I watched Serpico on my iPhone. I was thinking to myself, where is the Frank Serpico we need so bad today? Where is that person that will put everything on the line and out the mendacity of the NYC DOE? I see no one coming forward.

Where is the Daniel Ellsberg from the ranks of administrators or Tweedies that will lay a Pentagon Papers of education on the desk of an ace reporter from the Times? I see no one coming forward.

It’s been discussed on these pages in the past on what can be done. Perhaps it is time for the money to be where the mouth is.

Civil disobedience is where it’s at man. Wearing a red shirt, or red underwear, or a red ribbon ain’t gonna cut it.

I’ve been thinking of not shaving until education is fixed, not showering, not changing my clothes. But none of those will have an impact.

What can, and must be done and it is time is a full fledged hunger strike. I am seriously contemplating it and need to explore more, but I believe this is the only way to go.

If need be, I would go it alone, but as the those Irish republican prisoners realized in 1981, there is strength in numbers.

I see each and every day the destruction that Mayor Bloomberg and all his cronies have surreptitiously imposed on the unsuspecting people of the South Bronx, NYC, and the United States.

I see every day how my son is nothing but a test score and a dollar sign to Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Prentice.

It is time for this to end. It is time for the parents and students to be heard and to truly for once come first.

It is time all those with true stakes in education to be heard.


  1. How is a hunger strike going to effect the Mayor or the school board. The effectiveness of a hunger strike in prison comes out of the legal obligation of gaolers to have to care for you — not let you die of starvation. So what else? A regular strike is probably out of the question — it will just be an excuse for getting rid of teachers and closing schools faster. A sit down strike might work — but the kids in some of those schools aren’t long on civil responsibility, or social skills, and might seriously get out of hand. But ultimately you have to have the kids on your side. And the parents. Because the best strategy so far is optting out — not having your kids take the tests, and maybe keeping your kids home as an act of protest. (Hard for working parents, so impractical.) But if every parent in a couple of those schools kept their kids home during the testing week, you would at least get publicity.



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