Bring on the Noise: Let’s Get Loud!
by Carol Boyd
Two years ago in the midst of the mayoral control crusades, Mayor Bloomberg retorted regarding the school governance legislation that “If the Senate passes something that differs by one word or more it is saying to the city: We want to resurrect the Soviet Union, we want to bring back chaos.” Perhaps Mr. Bloomberg was consulting his private oracle, for in fact what New York City public schools, students, and parents are currently grappling with is nothing short of utter chaos.
When the NY State legislature reauthorized mayoral control of the NYC public schools, they tried to strengthen protections to ensure that the voices of parents and the vox populii would not be silenced. Instead, parents and the general public have been forced to “fade to Black” from the school governance arena.
An editorial that appeared in the NY Daily News yesterday (just in time for last nights Panel for Educational Policy meeting) admonishes parents for exhibiting behavior that would be intolerable from a first grader. It appears that the News is no smarter than a fifth grader – and surely not as smart as a parent. A fifth grader knows that behavior is defined as response to stimuli, and a parent knows that when you ignore a child, they get louder to get your attention. Any seasoned parent or educator also knows that the behavior displayed by Chancellor Black only serves to agitate and exacerbate the situation. **See below for our response to the NY Daily News editorial.
Like Rosa Parks and Rodney Dangerfield, the public is sick and tired of being sick and tired, gets no respect, and is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. As long as the mayor and his puppeteered panel continue to view parents and their allies as a Pubic Enemy, we will continue to Bring the Noise until we Wake Up Everybody.
To that end, Let’s Get Loud!!
** Unruly Panel for Educational Policy meetings undermine its mandate as a forum for input on schools -> Click to read article
More often than not; when people feel that their concerns about their children’s well-being is being heard, seriously considered and further invested into the decision making process and outcome, they tend to behave with a higher degree of order, civility and collaboration.
Contrary to that, when people feel as if they have no other recourse but to take dramatic action even that of an unruly nature in order to protect their children from harm – they do. If public meetings are to be more civilly attended by members of the public, then governmental processes need to be far more fair and just in regards to the well-being of the public – especially our most vulnerable members of society – our children.
If history has taught us anything it’s that sometimes engaging in civil disobedience / breaking the law in the end is the right thing to have done. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that how this great nation was started and often times along the way leading through today strengthened and sustained. It’s about equality, justice, fairness and democracy – isn’t it?
Dr. T. Thaddaeus Brown, CEJ / Parent of 2 Public School Students Ages 16 and 10