Child’s Garden of Causes

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

When public officials proclaim that they are acting “for the children,” look to see how much skin they’ve got in the game.  “A revitalized teachers’ union, along with parents, students, and community members, is standing up to the assault on public education, energizing teachers nationally and internationally,” Rethinking Schools proclaims. “The [Chicago Teachers Union] CTU website ( lists pledges of solidarity from across the United States and as far away as France, Australia, Mauritus, and Catalonia.”

“Young people have emerged as critically important participants in these struggles.”  Yeah, like for a really good leave package.

“In Madison, Wisconsin, high school students streamed out of the schools to be among the first of those occupying the state capitol to protest Walker’s anti-union legislation,” the magazine’s editors note. “In Milwaukee, the student group Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) demonstrated for immigrant rights, fought for in-state tuition for undocumented students, and advocated for a comprehensive student bill of rights. This summer, an extraordinary group of undocumented youth traveled across the country on the No Papers, No Fear UndocuBus to demand human and civil rights for immigrants.

“The enthusiastic participation of Chicago youth in the teachers’ strike is a potent example of welcoming students into movements for education change. Adults need to empathize with and learn from youth, even when they challenge our own long-established beliefs. Our mentoring needs to connect young people with traditions of struggle in ways that help them articulate their own values, sensibilities, and aspirations.”

Meanwhile, the EPA is putting a new twist on the age-old pastime of snitching. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is celebrating Children’s Health Month this October by providing information and health tips on its website, including the importance of energy efficiency in schools,” Penny Starr writes on CNS news. “On the website page is a link to a 26-page EPA report entitled, Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environment.”

“In the report’s chapter on Energy Efficiency, the EPA presents a box with items to help establish ‘Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Schools.’ One of the items in the box reads, ‘Educate students and staff about how their behaviors affect energy use. Some schools have created student energy patrols to monitor and inform others when energy is wasted.’”


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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