This morning (June 10, 2010) before the start of the school day, a group of about 35 teachers and a handful of students and community members picketed in front of the John Jay High School Campus in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY . The John Jay Campus Community (JJCC), a newly-formed grassroots group with members from each of the three schools in the John Jay High School building (the Secondary School of Law, Journalism, and Research) organized the lively picket and rally in just one day. Similar pickets are being planned for the next two Fridays and the last day of school.
The picketers’ chants of and signs of “Money for Books not Wall Street Crooks!” and “Let the Bosses take the Losses” reflected the anger at Wall Street for creating the current economic crisis and the fact that our students are paying the price. Students and community members joined in throughout the march, which lasted 30 minutes before school. But before entering the building, the teachers promised they would be back with more parents, students, and community members.
JJCC began in reaction to the budget cuts and possible layoffs planned for the 2010 school year. While the focus of the picket was on budget cuts, other issues such as the privatization of public education, charter schools, and the need to push our union to take a more militant stand against the attacks on public education have been discussed at meetings.
The final chant of the picket called on Parents, Students, and Teachers to UNITE and fight back! Besides the picket, the JJCC wrote a letter to parents urging them to attend our before-school pickets and to come with us to the citywide rally against the budget cuts being called for by the United Federation of Teachers on June 16.