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Let’s Explore Education Rights
In September for Orange Shirt Day, we set aside a week to discuss residential schools. But that’s about using educational institutions as a tool of compliance training, assimilation, and genocide. Those weren’t really schools so much as prisons.
Since we’ll talk about the freedom to escape dangerous institutions next month, let’s learn about the freedom to pursue education, including desegregation and education accessibility.
- For The Right To Learn (ages 6+)
- All The Way To The Top (ages 5+)
- Separate Is Never Equal (ages 5+)
- Bread for Words (ages 6-9) This was R2’s favorite book of 2020
Discuss with kids:
- In what ways were mainstream schools designed to include the kids in these stories?
- In what ways were schools designed to exclude them?
- What types of learning and information should all people have access to?
- What does our ‘school’ (homeschool, alt-schools, etc. included) look like? How is it accessible for my abilities and family? How could it be more accessible?
- Why did our family choose this type of school? What types of school are inaccessible for my abilities and our family?
Take Action: Learn how NIMBYism maintains segregation in education
If you live in a school system with decent resources, chances are there are some NIMBYs in your area fighting to maintain the housing shortage under the guise of not wanting to pay to educate more students. The hope is to maintain the hard work of supremacist redlining. These folks are often not above using an undercurrent of threat, since those students are likely to be less affluent and less white.
This is all bullshit since those poor brown families usually pay a disproportionately higher amount of their income to taxes. Do not fall for this argument, and call them out on their classism, racism, and bigotry.
Search locally to find out how you can get involved and support organizations already doing the work. For example, Engine 6 in my city is doing fantastic grassroots education.
Additional resources to dig deeper into this topic:
- Our Future Depends On It: Kids Books About Education Rights
- Even more kids stories about Education Rights (this is the list I’m constantly updating with good finds)
- Equity, Education, and Validating Frustration with ‘On The Day You Begin’
- 3 Elements of a Transformative Curriculum: How to Motivate Little Leaders
- Student Ignition Society