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Arizona State University Asks Palestinian Academic to Sign Contract Not to Criticize Israel

March 09th, 2018, Middle East Monitor Arizona State University is reported to have asked Palestinian academic Hatem Bazian to sign a contract in which he pledges not to criticise Israel at an event organized by the Muslim Students’ Association next month. Chair of American Muslims for Palestine and lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, Bazian said Arizona State University asked him to sign the university’s speaker agreement which included a clause that prohibits criticising Israel or engaging with the BDS movement. Bazian refused to sign the agreement, saying agents loyal to Israel, constitute a real obstacle to freedom of expression Read More …

Meet Some of the Illinois Students Behind Wednesday’s School Walkouts for Gun Reform

Vikki Ortiz Healy, March 13, 2018, Chicago Tribune High school students across Illinois will join a national walkout at 10 a.m. Wednesday to mark the one month anniversary of the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. In the weeks since the massacre that left 17 dead, the teen survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become vocal advocates for gun reform, spurring a nationwide #NeverAgain movement to fight for policies that would prevent future mass shootings. In Illinois, students from across the city, suburbs and state have joined the far-reaching movement to end gun violence with a gusto some Read More …

Another April Walkout Looms for Oklahoma Teachers

Ben Felder, March 11, 2018, NewsOK A half-dozen top leaders of the Oklahoma Education Association gathered in a room looking to make the final call on whether educators across the state should walk off the job in protest over low school funding and teacher pay. “We talked about what options there were … but at that point, the only option left to us was to call for a work stoppage,” OEA Executive Director David DuVall recalled. It was April 1990. A four-day showdown ensued, with the state Legislature later approving a series of tax increases that sent new money to Read More …

Will an AR-15 Succeed Where the American Dream Failed? High School Students -The Canaries in the Coal Mine of American Disaster

Belle Chesler, March 6, 2018, Tom Dispatch “It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.” — Emma Gonzalez, Senior, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Over the past three weeks, the impassioned voices and steadfast demands of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have resounded across social media and through the halls of the large suburban high school where I teach visual arts. A group of senior girls, spurred to action by the horrors of the Parkland massacre and emboldened by watching videos of its protesting students, organized a walkout of their own.  Though Read More …

The Lesson From West Virginia Teachers? If You Want to Win, Go on Strike

Miles Kampf-Lassin, March 6, 2018, Working In These Times For many years now, observers have been ringing the death knell for the U.S. labor movement. West Virginia teachers haven’t just pumped life back into that movement—they’ve reaffirmed the fundamental principle that the key to building power and winning is for workers to withhold their labor. On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill passed by the state legislature that will provide a 5 percent raise for teachers and school personnel. The deal reportedly also includes a 5 percent raise for all state employees, though that will have to be Read More …

Puerto Rico And Its Teachers’ Unions Clash Over Proposed Charter Schools

Adrian Florido, March 2, 2018, NPR Julia Keleher, Puerto Rico’s education secretary, stood in front of a school library full of high school students and asked them to do something students in Puerto Rico’s public schools aren’t often asked. “Take out your phones,” she said. “Look up the definition of charter school.” A girl’s hand shot up. “A charter school,” the girl read, “is a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school system in which it is located.” Keleher repeated after the girl, putting emphasis on “government funding” and “independently.” The point she really Read More …

What the Teachers Won

Eric Blanc with Emily Comer and Jay O’Neal, March 6, 2018, Jacobin On Tuesday afternoon, a deal to give all public employees in the state of West Virginia a 5 percent pay raise was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. A struggle that mobilized tens of thousands of workers, won widespread popular support, and was led by rank-and-file leaders, ended in a tangible victory. Confusion arose, however, as reports indicated that Republican state politicians wanted to offset the increase with cuts to social services. But though the Republicans are threatening to pay for this in part through Read More …

University of Illinois Graduate Student Employees Go on Strike

Dawn Rhodes, February 26, 2018, Chicago Tribune University of Illinois graduate student workers went on strike Monday after last-minute negotiations over the weekend failed to end a protracted contract dispute that has lasted nearly a year. Leaders of the Graduate Employees’ Organization, representing around 2,700 graduate and teaching assistants on the Urbana-Champaign campus, set up picket lines at buildings around the Main Quad starting at 8 a.m. Hundreds of union members and supporters then gathered for a boisterous rally in front of Foellinger Auditorium and marched around the quad before returning to the picket lines for the afternoonUnion members have pledged Read More …

Guns Do Kill: They Don’t Belong Near Schools

Jose Enrique Calvo Elhauge, February 23, 2018, Shanker Blog When is enough enough?” – Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers “We call BS.” – Emma González, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior A new year, a new bloody record: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 now marks the deadliest high school shooting in the history of the United States, surpassing the infamous Columbine High School massacre of April 1999. In another expression of senseless violence, at least 17 people lost their lives when a former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Read More …

How To Succeed In Organizing A High School Walkout While Really Trying

Bryan Conlon, February 21, 2018, The South Lawn So you’re going to high school and have decided that you can’t abide the notion of your classmates getting gunned down by yet another perpetrator of domestic violence. You want to walk out of your classes in protest, be it on 3/14 or 4/20, but you haven’t really done anything like this before. Worse, you live somewhere that has Confederate battle flags flying near the Interstate and there’s not many adults you can trust to help you organize a walkout at your school. Don’t worry, I am here to help guide you Read More …