Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Look to the children NOW
By:  Melissa Tomlinson
Many people say...look to the children for the future of this world. We say look to the children NOW!!! Students of Newark, NJ demanded their right to be heard tonight when they conducted a sit in at the Newark Public School Board Meeting. When their demands including a call for the resignation of Cami Anderson, and return of local control of the schools were basically ignored; it was decided that they would not leave the building at 2 Cedar Street. Tweets and Facebook posts were sent out in a very well communicated plan to Occupy Newark as we learned of a refusal to allow food to come in (a decision that was later reversed), the hasty adjournment of Newark Schools superintendent, Cami Anderson, and the supporting visit of recently elected mayor, Ras Baraka. Later in the night, community members and parents gathered outside of the building to show their support for these students. An outsider has to wonder, why does it seem that no one is listening to what the community has voiced, over and over again. It is true that the assistant superintendent Roger Leon sat with the students on the floor to meet with them and listen. But to what avail? It is really quite clear that Cami Anderson is the one calling the shots for the appointed board to carry through during this one-woman show. In spite of botched efforts, lack of communication, unfair school assignments, and transportation woes Cami Anderson still avows that what she is doing is best for the people of Newark and she will not allow the voices of thousands deter her in any way. But these families are ready to have their city back. They are willing to fight for it. They will not give up. In the meantime, her former work peer, Paymon Rouhanifard, sits quietly in the shadows of Camden, plotting how to implement this same plan for the schools of Camden. He seems to have a gentler approach and claims that he is actually listening to the voices of the people that he is aiming to help. Perhaps the voices in Camden are not merely speaking loud enough about what help they really want?

1 comment:

  1. There is a call by NTU VP for people to go to 2 Cedar, Newark NJ 7 am tomorrow 5/21