Monday, October 02, 2006

Organizing Student Activists, Voices

High School Students are a group who usually overlooked by the mainstream loudspeaker. The common misconception that youth hasn’t a clue or an opinion of what happens in the world is absurd, and I’m attempting to counter the prevailing argument with place students will have a voice, a real voice. Not only am I planning on forming a advocacy publication (appeal to reason), I’m also planning a radical coordinating committee to give students the voice the deserve.

Those who hold the power over high school students –administrators, teachers, parents– usually conclude that students have no opinion and only their superiors have the enlightened knowledge of what is best. As with the struggles of labor in the past century, where both parties –labor and employer– had a say, students must recognize their equal rights with their superiors. Most forget the view of students when legislating reforms to education and emplacing what they view as beneficial to the very people whom they are responsible to serve –the students.

In Michigan, an acceptable public education and one that couldn’t meet the standards of any respectable industrialized nation can mean the difference of one side of the street. The socioeconomic segregation that plagues Metro Detroit, among other places, creates an educational atmosphere that resembles a marketplace more then nation where education is held in high regard.

Perhaps Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos favors a marketplace, for his proposed reforms to education that include school vouchers to private schools couldn’t prove otherwise. Dick DeVos claims “that every child in Michigan deserves a world-class education that prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow,” but supports policy that will devastate public education by essentially forfeiting it to private hands. The theory that cutting funding to poorly graded schools will motivate them to improve education is not only a myth, it’s outright obvious –schools are not businesses, and should not be left to the fate of the free market among other institutions. Have we forgotten the term ‘equal opportunity’?

The latter is a prime example in understanding the goal of religions and private interests attempting to take advantage of students who, without a strong united voice, have no voice. Student solidarity is important and often overlooked in a generation where cliques alienate the student population into specialized classes who forget what they have in common. Materialism, among other things, and the engrained philosophy of consumption and conformity have worked to program youth to automatically accept the societal systems of modern-day feudalism and the predetermined fate of either prosperity or poverty.

So today I’m asking on anyone who is tired of our unchangeable fate and the inequality that plague our region, state, and nation. We are people, and deserve to be treated as such; we are not numbers on a spreadsheet or an expense to be done away with and exported. We deserve equal education and health care, equal opportunity to succeed and freedom from those who seek to exploit us. We must join in solidarity; we must tear down the institutions of tyranny and inequality. If you are with me, join us and let your voice ring loud for all to hear.

Youth Action Coordinating Committee

Northville High School
Contact: Aric Miller
(248) 719-3557