By Bernita Bradley
In Detroit, In Lansing: Keep Telling Your Truths and stay ignited.
Parents, this year was a rough one. We rallied, sent letters, broke bread with state reps and participated in hard conversations with some who we deem not to be supportive of our children getting what they deserve in their schools.
My hat goes off to us. I salute every one of the organizations of this great city that educated parents on the need to be vocal and show up.
I commend the young students who wrote letters and told their stories. I commend us all. And now I say to you, continue to be ignited.
In being proactive you allow those in leadership to know that we are still watching. That this past year was not just a fly-by-night moment that we are here to stay.
Detroiters came up with a plan to get rid of crushing debt the state forced our public schools to take on, to hold our schools accountable and to make sure that schools open and close with a plan so that there are options where families live. We raised our voices, exposing the depth of the need.
They heard us–I don’t care what it seemed like–they heard us. They sat in Lansing and counted up the costs. They didn’t just vote this time. They actually thought about the experiences and hardships we shared. Some came to the city to meet with families and took our stories back to use as fuel for change.
Continuing to tell our stories now holds them accountable. They can’t deny what is going on. If we go silent again, they will believe that we weren’t serious and have decided our fight means nothing.
Because our truths were so compelling, we made allies of lawmakers from both parties. We got some of what we called for, and we almost won the rest.
I will continue to fight, even if it looks like we failed. Continue to tell your stories. Continue to show up to meetings. Continue to push for the real change we need.
We need it now more than ever. We have a newly elected school board that needs to be constantly reminded just how high the stakes are. Let them know why you voted for them and hold them accountable for change.
Share your stories of how you feel about traveling hours on buses to get your children to school. Describe how schools treat you unfairly and how you are fearful of the schools in your neighborhood closing.
Send letters, blog about it, attend parent meetings–whatever you do, don’t give up. Your voices made a difference. Don’t you ever think that they didn’t? They still do, so tell me what is it you want them to know?
Tell us what you think about the new board and what are your urgent concerns. Tweet us @DSchoolsRock.
What do you hope they do and why?
When all is said and done, what do you need to happen in Detroit schools and for Detroit student?