Defend Public Education

We Will NOT Accept our Dreams Deferred – Petition to Save Programs and DPS Schools

Posted in Uncategorized by Nicole Conaway on March 13, 2011
Petition to Save Fine Arts Programs and DPS Schools

Detroit’s Southeastern High School students used this petition to build support and won their first demand! – to sing at the Michigan High School Vocal Music Association Choral Festival on March 10. After their choir teacher was transferred they were told they could not perform at this event, which they had worked toward all year. It was a hard-won victory that came only after several walkouts, speaking out before the school board and ultimately boldly demanding they be allowed to sing when event officials tried to stop them on the day of the festival, supposedly for not having completed a registration form.

Now with Bobb’s plan  to convert to charters or close 41 schools, we must follow the example set by the students of Southeastern and organize ourselves to stop this attack and demand all schools remain open as public schools open to all students!

Petition to Save Fine Arts Programs and DPS Schools
We Will Not Accept Our Dreams Deferred
A Dream Deferred, By Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up– like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore– And then run?
Does itstink– like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags– like a heavy load.
OR DOES IT EXPLODE?
Music and the other arts programs in Detroit schools are facing massive cuts. We must not allow this to continue. We cannot imagine living in a world without music and art. We know that if we allow Rob Bobb, Governor Snyder or any of his appointees to eliminate music andart, then sports and other critical programs will follow. Vital academic programs are already being cut and there are threats of more school closings.
The chances of Detroit youth attending college are being greatly diminished; our right to learn and grow as full human beings, denied. We cannot and will not accept becoming the first of many generations of Detroit students to live under the new institutionalized Jim Crow. Our dreams must not be deferred. We must not accept our rights and opportunities beinglimited by the racism, cynicism and betrayals of the politicians. It is our time to fight and lead. To quote Dr. King, Detroit students and youth must act “with the fierce urgency of now”.
We the undersigned demand that:
1.      The Southeastern High School choir, which has prepared all year to compete in the MSVMA Choral Festival, must be allowed to compete allowed to participate in the festival.  Southeastern High School was being denied the right to compete in the festival because their music teacher was transferred to another school.  The students must not be punished for the unconscionable policies of Rob Bobb and Lansing.
2.      Every school in DPS including the Detroit School for the Arts (DSA) and other performing arts schools, have already lost music and art teachers, accompanists and other vital staff.  We demand that every teacher and support staff who  has been laid off or transferred to another school be immediately returned to  their home school.
3.      The youth of Detroit are the peers and equals of every other youth in this nation.  We refuse to be treated as second-class students, denied the right to realize
our full potential and develop our creativity. Detroit youth in public schools and charter schools deserve the right to attend comprehensive elementary and middle schools and high schools which offer a full complement of music, art,  language, AP, sports and other programs. We will accept no less.
4. We stand united against and will not accept the closing, charterization, or selling off of any DPS schools.

Add your Name to the Petition:

Download the Petition to Save Fine Arts Programs and DPS Schools, and circulate at your school among teachers and students, parents, at your churches and community groups.
Endorsed by: The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), www.BAMN.com letters@bamn.com 313-585-3637
Defend Public Education/Save Our Students (DPE/SOS) Caucus of the Detroit Federation of Teachers
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