Every once in a while there is a story about education that actually warms my heart.
18,000 students walked out of New Jersey classrooms yesterday to protest Governor Christie's budget cuts to education.
They carried signs like "We are the future" and "We love our teachers."
They marched to City Hall in Newark to chant "No More Budget Cuts!"
They made their voices heard.
They think Chris Christie and the other education deform wankers demonizing teachers and teachers unions are WRONG. They think the "fiscal conservatives" trying to balance state budgets with education cuts while refusing to raise taxes on people making over $400,000 a year are WRONG.
But of course Governor Christie didn't hear any of it:
Michael Drewniak, the governor’s press secretary, released a statement on Tuesday saying that students belonged in the classroom. “It is also our firm hope that the students were motivated by youthful rebellion or spring fever,” Mr. Drewniak said, “and not by encouragement from any one-sided view of the current budget crisis in New Jersey.”
Spring fever? Youthful rebellion?
When tea partiers show up in Washington on Tax Day to protest having to pay taxes (even though we now pay the lowest level of federal taxes in generations), you never hear a Republican say "Gee, I hope they're just inspired by spring fever or youthful rebellion."
Instead you hear how the tea partiers are channeling Tom Paine and Sam Adams and other "patriots" who protested unfair tax policies back in the day.
But when students - 18,000 of them - come out to protest Governor Christie's budget cuts to schools and demonizing of teachers, those same Republicans say "Oh, it's just spring fever...it's just youthful rebellion...they'll be back to playing video games tomorrow..."
Well, maybe. But maybe not:
Not every school had students walk out. Nancy Dries, a spokeswoman for the top-ranked Millburn district, which has used surplus money to avoid major cuts, said it was “business as usual” there.
But in many other places, students came to school ready to make a political statement. Emma Wolin, a junior at Columbia High, walked out of second-period Spanish with several classmates, even though the school had warned that they would face detention
They certainly did make a political statement yesterday. I hope Christie and Obama and Duncan and all the other eduwankers heard it.
But I doubt they did.
There will have to be more political statements made in the future.
We will start this November by letting Democrats who sign on to Obama's education plans to close schools, turn them into for-profit charters and scapegoat/fire thousands of teachers know how we feel about those policies.
The mood is already the most anti-incumbent since 1994.
Just wait until all those teachers who voted for Democrats sit out this fall.