Not one black face in that photo. Of course not. Several New York City teachers are now in hot water after disobeying their Teacher’s Union rules to not wear ‘inappropriate’ clothing on the first day of school. Some teachers wore the NYPD shirts to school Tuesday and Wednesday as a show of support for cops in the wake of the Eric Garner death and union-backed rally by the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite being warned by the United Federation of Teachers. An email from the union stated that, “as public employees, one must remain objective at all times. Certain T-shirt messages may appear to be supportive, but individuals (parents, students) may see a different meaning in that message.”
NEWARK - All nine city council seats on the second floor of Newark’s City Hall were filled by an array of Essex County’s state legislators on Tuesday night. They faced over 100 Newark residents at a hearing called by state Sen. Ron Rice (D-28) about the problematic school enrollment plan engendered by the controversial One Newark school reorganization plan. What the legislators got was their ears filled with a litany of anger and frustration from parents, students and policy makers who felt that a plan that was meant to give them more school choices has left them with bad choices, or no choices at all.


They tell us it’s a crisis, but it’s not. It’s a crime that the Governor’s budget cuts taxes on the rich and raises taxes on the working poor while inflicting major damage on the University of North Carolina system, considered one of our state’s greatest assets. It’s a crime that because of academic austerity in our state - increasing tuition while slashing financial aid - the “UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Scholarship and Student Aid estimates the proposal could cause the average student’s debt to double - from $17,000 in loans to $33,000 - within three to four years.” It’s a crime that the Board of Governors is an unelected body, with no forum at meetings or voting representation to express the concerns of students, professors, faculty, families, and working people. And still they call us apathetic.

It’s a crime that the skyrocketing cost of higher education is making attending a public university in North Carolina inaccessible to many low-income youth today, a scheme that only furthers the school-to-prison pipeline that values profit over livelihood and freedom. It’s a crime that our state’s policy of out-of-state tuition for undocumented North Carolinians furthers xenophobia on our campuses, and takes advantage of students who have lived most of their lives in North Carolina.

It’s a crime that UNC Greensboro plans to spend $91 Million - all from student fees - to build a second recreation center on campus, while cutting over 390 course sections in the coming academic year. It’s a crime that the state budget, year after year, targets our state’s proud and acclaimed Historically Black Colleges and Universities for being “unprofitable,” such as their attempt to close Elizabeth City State University this past spring.

It’s a crime that our tuition money pays for higher salaries for more administrators, but lower salaries for professors, adjuncts, and campus faculty, many of whom don’t make a living wage.It’s a crime that they’ll send us out into a job market that doesn’t pay a living wage of $15 per hour, and expect us to still be able to pay off our student loans.

It’s a crime that the remainder of our tuition money is turned around and invested in the inhumane occupation of Palestine, in companies that rely on brutal working conditions and sweatshop labor, and oil and coal corporations whose profit-margins actively contradict our futures.

We’re not alone in our story. These crimes against a generation are international. But internationally, students have been at the forefront of fighting back. From Santiago to Tunis to Montreal, and across the United States, students have dedicated themselves to getting organized to create a better future. This is our task now. Where there is collective crime against the youth, there must be collective organization by and for the youth.

It’s time for us to take back our schools, as students and workers, to make sure universities are accessible to all, that student debt ceases to burden our generation, that undocumented youth can rise with us, that our commitment to HBCUs remains protected, that the school-to-prison pipeline is abolished, and that our tuition doesn’t reinforce global capitalism that hurts us all. Join Ignite NC, the NC Student Power Union, and students, faculty, and young people from across the state from Friday, September 12 to Saturday, September 13 in Raleigh so that we - together - can get organized and change our state. When we fight, we win!



Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014

While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.

“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”

Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.

So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”

Read more

As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves. 

Last Thursday, a Superior Court judge ruled that North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program is unconstitutional as, “The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public taxpayer money to private schools that have no legal obligation to teach them anything.”

This is so important.

With 1 in 5 women sexually assaulted while in college, sexual violence is an endemic campus problem. But schools and universities still vary widely in how they handle it, with some owning the issue and working to keep students safe while others simply go into risk management mode or deny they have a problem at all. So how do you know if your school has good sexual assault policies?
Yes, this is Cosmo.
Georgetown professor Marcia Chatelain used Twitter to put together a #FergusonSyllabus for teachers looking for resources for their classrooms. The list Chatelain compiled at, which includes history, fiction, children’s books and academic works, is a great resource for more than just students and their teachers. Chatelain’s ask was that her fellow educators commit to discussing Ferguson in their first days of class, and share resources with students and each other to help sort through the last few weeks of trauma, confusion and race dialogue. “Some of us will talk about Ferguson forcefully, others gingerly, but from preschool classrooms to postdoctoral seminars, Ferguson is on the syllabus,” Chatelain wrote. Conversation sparked by #FergusonSyllabus inspired this resource guide for educators, too.