Public School Students Continue to Lead the Nation to a Better Place

by Dr. John H. Jackson, Schott Foundation President & CEO

Despite the contrived false narrative of failing students and schools, the nation’s public school students are once again leading the nation to a more just society and a stronger democracy. During the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s it was public school students walking out of schools, sitting at lunch counters, and marching on Washington that shaped the civil rights movement.

It has been public school students in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Chicago reminding the nation that Black Lives Matters. It’s the public school Dreamers paving the way and reminding us that as a nation of immigrants America’s greatness is not found in our ability to build walls but our ability to secure opportunity for diverse people.

So, it’s no surprise that following the tragedy in Parkland Florida at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, it’s our nation’s public school students and educators proclaiming #Enough and #NeverAgain. They are leading the way toward changing the policies that make it possible for a distraught young person to secure a weapon of mass destruction and kill scores of students and educators.

Those proclaiming the failure of our public school students are measuring the wrong things. Those who raise the banner proclaiming the failure of the public system fail to value the historic contribution of its students and graduates to justice, as well as to our economy, our democracy, and indeed our nation’s humanity.

In the midst of the pain, we see the strength of our public school students individually and the significance of our public school system collectively. I am fiercely proud of them, and confident that once again they will serve to make us a stronger nation, a nation for the people led by the people.

Fight on students! Fight on! We stand by and with you!


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