Senator Knezek is a Democrat who represents parts of Detroit’s Westside, Redford Township, parts of Deaborn Heights and Garden City. I’ve had the opportunity to work with him on ed reform issues in the legislature. He is a hard worker for his constituents and he believes “all children” deserve a great education. Although I didn’t support Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as secretary of education, I agree with what he says below about a couple of protestors who blocked her entrance to visit a public school last week.
Please read his social media response to that episode:
I know I’m going to upset my fellow Democrats but here’s the facts: blocking Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from entering a public school is not an effective form of protest. Protest is an art form. Protest must have achievable objectives. Protesting as she enters a building tells the Secretary that we, the people, are watching; that we disagree with her policies; that we will not remain silent in the face of threats to public education.
We then seek to engage others, we engage the media, we share our views with the public en masse, we hope to slowly but surely change hearts and minds.
Blocking entry to a building takes what should be a story about our message and our concerns and turns it into a story about blocking entry into a building. We literally give away our message and lose out on opportunities to change hearts and minds.
I support peaceful protest. I always will. The First Amendment grants us that right. But if we want to WIN—and winning is the only thing that matters—we need to be smarter in our approach. The Women’s March was absolutely picture perfect in scope, focus, objective, and peacefulness. We need more Women’s Marches and fewer school blockades.
I would add that the knuckle heads who blocked her become the story. Not the peaceful protestors like those who participated in the Women’s Marches so effectively. #Voices4Ed #DetroitSchlTalk #MIEducation