Jun 21, 2004
On June 17, a crowd of about 700 demonstrated its anger at the proposed Detroit School Board's elimination of support staff jobs such as janitors, boiler operators, secretaries and bus drivers. Up to 3,200 jobs may be involved.
The proposed cuts follow in the train of many other cutbacks in teaching staff, class size, and school programs. The board says the cuts are necessary to balance the schools' budget deficit. But the parents, teachers and support workers were there to say that putting children at increased risk is unacceptable.
If the school board represented, as it is supposed to, the interests of the children, it would have joined forces, first with those who are protesting the cuts, and then with as many other school boards as it could reach.
Instead, the school board closed its scheduled meeting rather than hear the protesters' complaints. It as much as declared that it will make the decisions, and make them behind closed doors.
The parents and workers who protested are right to do it – and to keep on doing it. If it means shutting down the school board, so be it.