2 Parents And 2 School Employees Are Starving Themselves To Keep Their Local Schools Open
Last week, it was announced that Philadelphia plans to close 23 schools and and fire 3,783 “education professionals” upon facing budget restraints. The drastic cuts to Philly’s schools will no doubt be felt by communities and many families, but at least four people are going on hunger strike in protest. I’ve known some admirable and devout public school advocates in my day but that’s hardcore. Feel free to use the word “brave” in this context.
Msnbc reports that the four participants are two parents and two school district employees who have placed themselves outside Gov. Tom Corbett’s office. They say that they will stay on those steps until layoffs are reduced and student safety improved. And they’re super passionate about their cause:
“I care about my daughter and grandson,” said hunger striker and parent Earlene Bly in a statement. “I am making this sacrifice to make sure they have safe schools. I am fasting to show my family and the city how serious this situation is.” Bly is the mother of a ninth grader and the grandmother of an incoming first grader.
One of the many points of contention include the firing of over 1,000 “noontime aides,” individuals who reportedly ensure student safety “when the children won’t go to the principal [and] when they won’t go to their teacher,” to quote one aide. These aides are part of a union that is actively involved with the two employees who are striking.
Try bringing up this tactic at the next PTA meeting, folks.