Saturday, June 12, 2010

SAVE STUDENTS METRO CARDS

Since December 2009, a group of high school students representing the Urban Youth Collaborative's Student Union and the Alliance of Students for Transportation Justice have been waging a student-led campaign to fight service cuts and Save STUDENT METRO CARDS!

Today, (Friday 11, 2010) over 2,000 high school students walk-out off their school and held a rally at City Hall Park and march across the Brooklyn Bridge. among them were several elected officials. Council Members Letitia James, Jumaane D. Williams, Deborah Rose and Robert Jackson, spoke on support of the student to save the Metro Cards.

Nazifa Mahbub 16, a junior at Long Island City High School on her speech said: "The criminalization of students will increase because the cuts will cause students to jump turnstiles and cut school resulting in our undocumented students getting picked up by truancy. If undocumented students get convicted more than one time then they might get deported. The number of arrest and fines will lead to deportation of our youth. Undocumented students will also be affected because there are already limited resources for undocumented students plus the Metro Card cuts will add a burden to the families. Undocumented families already have to pay for college tuition because they are not eligible for aid or scholarships."

See videos bellow of the rally.



Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for
YFP

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: "Undocumented families already have to pay for college tuition because they are not eligible for aid or scholarships."

Off-point, I know, but I hope high-schoolers understand that most documented families must also pay for college tuition. Unfortunately in this wealthy nation, higher education is not a right, it's a privilege.

On-point: Although I'm not always pleased to ride the subway with a bunch of rowdy kids, they should not be expected to pay to be "bussed" to far-away schools. This measure to take away students' MetroCards is the beginning of re-segregation. When the economic shit hits the fan in NYC, the richies will be safely isolated in their pristine neighborhoods, far away from the disaffected masses.

janeblaz71 said...

I concur to the point that the lack of funding for metro-cards will, in fact, push the once covert movement towards re-segregation further into reality. It doesn't make sense to revoke free-student metro cards if the DOE assigns children to schools that are miles or even boroughs away from home. More localized schools should have been built, but the City had another agenda back when there was money to spare. The DOE schools with the best test scores are in the most affluent areas, there is no disputing the quality in education based upon wealt poverty even in public institutions.

And while the student speaks of undocumented students not being eligible for financial aid, grants or scholarships, I have news for that student...I am a single parent and I have lived in this country all of my life as have my children...neither I nor my children qualify for aid or grants because I happen to be lower middle class...education is a RIGHT from K-12; college is most certainly a priviledge although it should be a RIGHT as well...even those of us who have worked here and paid taxes all of our lives do not qualify for aid...
with that being said,clearly the 2000 students and their political allies did not pay attention in history class. If this rally were scheduled after-school would there be such a large turn-out? Not sure. I find it disheartening that not one of the adults helped the children organize an event after-school and in doing so, informed them that children of color were spit on and pelted with rocks during the struggle for equal educational opportunites for all children, therefore, walking out of school would be insulting and counter productive to the civil rights movement. I do not blame the child, I blame the adults who are leading them astray. Graduation rates for DOE students hover below 53%...should we celebrate or should we come together and figure out WHY this is happening and WHAT we can do to help our children - yes, every last one of the children in DOE schools are OUR children because OUR taxes are paying for their education. It's not enough to send the children to the front lines to protest...as a matter of fact, to send the children to the front lines is cowardice...the adults should be taking up this battle...that includes the adults who will not be able to afford to purchase metrocards for their children because they are unemployed or receiving benefits...in their free time they should be standing outside of City Hall with picket signs and bull horns sending a very clear and powerful message to the state legislature and the federal government "YOU bailed out the banks, now bail out OUR KIDS". Children should be in school empowering themselves with an education...not taking to the streets during school hours demanding metrocards.

There have been several litmus tests directed at the poor and middle class as of late. The powers that be, the affluent, the ones who run the show because they have the means to do so...have been administering these litmus tests to figure out how much the poor and the middle class will take...so far, my people seem to be sound asleep and completely unaware, or perhaps indifferent, to what is going on and how we will all be even less fortunate than we already are if we continue to be complacent with the manner in which our lives, our liberty and our rights are being tampered with.

The alarm clock has been going off for quite some time now...will we rise and shine or continue to hit the snooze button?????

"In losing sight of their goal, they pursued it with a vengeance..."