Instead of watching their schools die a slow death by defunding and neglect, a group of Allentown students is taking their education to the streets during the week of September 28 – October 2. In press release issued earlier today, the United Youth of Allentown announced their intention to walk out of classes on the morning of September 28, if the Allentown School Board refuses to address their demands for a quality education.
Last week, Danay, an Allentown school student was interviewed on the Rick Smith Show about some of the organizing taking place (check out that interview RIGHT HERE). At the end of the interview, Danay indicated that an action was on the horizon, but she did not want to provide details at that point. Today’s press release seemed to answer any questions about what the students were planning.
According to the press release, upwards of 600 students are expected to walk out and march to the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Memorial on Harry A. Roberts Plaza located at the intersection of Union Street & Martin Luther King Drive in Allentown. The connection between their fight for quality education and the history of the civil rights movement is not lost on them:
We the STUDENTS of Allentown School District have decided to WALK OUT on school days September 28th – October 2nd to peacefully assemble at the Martin Luther King Statue next to Parkettes. We have decided to stand up for our rights at this particular monument because we share in the fight that Dr. King fought for during the civil rights era. We do not feel the education system is providing us the best opportunities to become successful adults. The fact that you have a neighboring school district in Parkland that is one of the TOP performing districts meanwhile Allentown is at the bottom should sound off large alarms. How do they make decisions that affect us without OUR SAY?
Students will present a series of demands to members of the Allentown School Board at their next meeting, Thursday, September 24 at 7:30pm. Those demands include:
- The resignation of the current superintendent, C. Russell Mayo “due to his lack of leadership and ineffective decision-making”
- The appointment of a students representative to the school board with full voting privileges, “so we have a voice with our perspective on decisions that affect us and our siblings”
- The development of a “student summer employment program” that will allow students to “get the experience we need to excel after graduation”
According to one source active in United Youth, after students march to the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Memorial, they will engage in a series of outdoor classes on civil rights, education, and history.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops. You can check out Allentown United Youth’s full press release, RIGHT HERE.