Thousands Of Students Plan Mass Walkout To Protest Gov. Christie’s School Cuts

protestThousands of New Jersey high schol students are expected to walk out of classes today to protest education cuts proposed by Gov. Chris Christie. “A lot of things are being cut, like clubs and after school activities,” said Kathi Lloyd, a senior at Newark’s University High School. “A lot of kids come to school for the clubs and if they cut those, school is really boring for them.” Lloyd, 17, joined thousands of fellow New Jersey students on Facebook, where the protest was first organized. According to the site, more than 16,000 students plan to leave school between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.  

Students from seven high schools in Newark are expected to walk out at 1 p.m. and march to the school board building at 2 Cedar St. to protest cuts in after school programs and layoffs. Students from around the state are expected to participate in similar marches throughout the day.

The protests were initiated by Michelle Ryan Lauto, an 18-year-old college student who spent her high school years in Bergen County. Lauto, said she set up a Facebook event page about a month ago encouraging the walkouts.

By Monday evening, more than 16,000 people said they’d be participating — a number that was rising by hundreds every few hours.

“It’s insane,” she said of the interest. “I mean, I’m very excited.” Lauto has family members who will be affected by the cuts but said her aim was to show that students were genuinely concerned for the welfare of their schools.

“I think there’s this general stereotype about high schoolers being very apathetic,” she said. “We’re the ones that are going to be affected by this. So we have to show we don’t like what’s being done.”

The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, said the students are “engaging in civil disobedience” but shouldn’t walk out of classes.

“I think the best outcome would be for the students to be in school and find a way to protest outside of school hours,” said Steve Wollmer, a spokesman for the organization.

Lauto, who said she wouldn’t want to debate the NJEA, said she encourages students to demonstrate during free periods and that she isn’t “encouraging children to not go to school.”

“I do believe that it’s going to get attention to the issue and show that all these people care,” she said. Star Ledger.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Let the “Students” start paying some taxes and then let them see how everything costs.

    Since when did all those extra-curriculum activities become the taxpayers of NJ responsiblity. Constitution says taxpayers must pay for education. – not all those extras.

    I send my children to afternoon clubs I pay for them. Why should taxpayers pay for them? It isn’t education.

  2. No matter what cuts The govenor makes the taxes will not be going down anytime soon, if at all..they cut spending for all the schools in NJ and guess who is going to pay the difference..WE are. If you think cutting spending will help the economy it may but you will see services cut as well. All across the state there are towns cutting emergency services back, laying off firefighters, cops, emts and the best of all Emergency Communication Officers..do you think that if they are not there your services will not be affected..just wait ..I hear Lakewood is on the chopping block..it’s gonna be a fun ride.

  3. Instead of encouraging the students everyone thats absent that day should be suspended. Thats the way it was done in my school days. The public schools dont want to bend like every other taxpayer is and they think the taxpayers should pay them to teach the morals and standards that they lack. The NJEA has too long been too powerful and had too much control over the innocent minds they teach. Scripture says foolishness is in the heart of the child and the children have been corupted by the NJEA for too long

  4. The NJEA does not “corrupt children”, they did not encourage this walk out, the students only needed their cells, and facebook to organize.
    They are smarter than we think! Students will in the long run suffer if cuts are made to programs and staff.

Comments are closed.