Eclectablog himself wasn’t able to attend the grassroots-organized rally in support of the public school system in Lansing this morning; fortunately I was able to attend, with a contingent of my fellow Bloomfield Hills-based public school advocates. Yes, that’s right: Even in Bloomfield Hills, where most of the residents seem to think that the deliberate, systematic destruction of the Michigan Public School System will somehow spare them, there’s a solid base of concerned parents and other residents who know the truth: Sooner or later, Gov. Snyder and the Republican-held state legislature will come after us as well, unless they’re stopped.
With that in mind, here’s a collection of photos & videos from today’s event, which was arranged for by a completely grass-roots organization called, simply enough, Save Michigan’s Public Schools.
Note: Please forgive the shaky video and scattershot photos; I’m not much of a videographer and my battery ran low about 2/3 of the way through, so I had to skip some speakers. I’ll post the videos first, then the photos (warning: there’s a lot of pics!)
Tony Trupiano acted as the MC of the event and led things off:
Ten teachers from ten different school districts were brought up to give short snippets about life in a Michigan public school today, under the “leadership” of Rick Snyder and the legislative Republicans (unfortunately I missed part of the first speaker):
I was a little surprised that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, as the headline speaker, was scheduled so close to the beginning of the event, but perhaps he wasn’t available later in the day (broken into two parts due to a phone call coming in partway through his speech…):
Other speakers included State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton, State Board of Education President John Austin and Michigan Parents for Schools leader Steven Norton, along with numerous others.
However, the real eye-opener of the event, for me at least, was this speech by a very talented, energetic and determined teacher and creative writing director by the name of Jeff Kass. I missed his introduction, but as I understand it, he’s an award-winning writer and poet who teaches at-risk kids in the Ann Arbor school district. He also works with an organization called The Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, “Where teens lead, create and innovate”. Here’s an article about Jeff from a couple of years ago; he sounds like an amazing guy, exactly the sort of teacher that we should be encouraging instead of trampling on: