Students from three Newark high schools have walked out of class in protest of the state’s control of New Jersey’s largest school district.
Community activists and parents joined students from Science Park High, Arts High School and Central High School as they walked out of class on Tuesday.
The walkout is the latest in an ongoing protest of the school system. Some parents are also holding students out of class. Activists say they want the state to hand over control to a local school board for the first time in nearly two decades.
Speaking in Camden on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie says the students who walked out have “no basis for their actions” and said they were being led by “selfish adults.”
“Because of the superintendent’s continued ignorance toward the community, we’ve warned her and we’re trying to let her know like the voice of the students and the voice of the parents are important and shouldn’t be ignored,” Roberto Cabanas told 1010 WINS.
Cabanas, an organizer at New Jersey Communities United, said Superintendent Cami Anderson has failed them.
“We’re not going to support any transitions that will reinstate this superintendent who has failed us miserably, who doesn’t even come to public board meetings,” Cabanas said. “We’re not going to compromise with the superintendent, we’re not going to compromise with the governor until we get full local control of the schools.”
The most recent point of tension was set off by last week’s problems with a new One Newark enrollment system. Families must rank their preferences for public or private schools across the city rather than just attend the nearest school.
But highly sought-after schools filled up quickly — in some cases only one child from a family got assigned while siblings are waiting to be placed.
On the system’s first day, offices were understaffed and hundreds of families were turned away. Parents waited in line for hours to enroll their students.
Youth-led movements will not be silenced.
Sound off below!