Picket and Press Conference

Friday, April 16, 1:00 pm

City/County Building

Woodward & W. Jefferson  

Court Hearing, 2:00 pm

Room 1421, Judge Wendy Baxter

Stop Rob Bobb from Dismantling Public Education in Detroit

No More Charters, No School Closings,

No Layoffs, No Program Cuts

Our Children are NOT For Sale!

BAMN, the Detroit Board of Education, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, and the vast majority of Detroiters all agree—Detroit’s students have a right to a public education, and Robert Bobb does not have the right to dismantle public education and privatize our school system.

On Friday, April 16, we will have our day in court. BAMN attorneys representing the elected Detroit Board of Education will ask Judge Wendy Baxter for a preliminary injunction to stop Bobb’s academic plan and school closings.  Bobb has no legal authority to dictate the district’s academic plan, and his school closings plan is designed to assist private companies and foundations who back charter schools to take over the education of Detroit youth. Bobb is being paid $145,000, one-third of his $425,000 salary, by Eli Broad and other pro-charter foundations.

Students, teachers and community activists can stop Rob Bobb from dismantling public education in Detroit, if we learn the lessons of the new student movement which has emerged in California.  Students, led by University of California at Berkeley and UCLA students, stood up and successfully defended public education.  Backed by the unions and California’s powerful Latina/o, immigrant, black, poor, working-class and middle-class communities, students marched, held walkouts, sit-ins, rallies and building occupations. The new student movement lifted up everyone. We were reminded that when we stand and fight together, we can win, and, perhaps just as importantly, we can restore our own sense of collective purpose, joy, hope and optimism.

In Detroit, we felt the joy of the new student movement when hundreds of students walked out of Northwestern High School to stop their school from closing. We need more walkouts and other student actions to strengthen and spread the movement. United we stand, divided, we fall. No school can or should have to justify its existence for twenty minutes of Rob Bobb’s highly-paid time. Every school is an anchor of the community, and an essential part of every neighborhood. Every school should be kept open.

Last Saturday, April 10, the first national action against Arne Duncan’s Race To The Top scheme was held. Students, teachers and community members from New York, Philadelphia, Florida, Detroit, Oakland, California and Washington DC rallied, marched and held a meeting to build a national movement to defend public education.  Though small, the march’s impact was large; we took a big step toward national organization and unified action to stop the privatization of public education.

The power of the movement is its independence and its understanding that it speaks for the majority. Come to the court hearing on Friday, April 16, and show Judge Wendy Baxter that we speak for the majority of Detroiters, not Rob Bobb and his wealthy corporate and philanthropist backers.

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) 

www.bamn.com                                                                        April 11, 2010