To Whom It May Concern:
As I sit and look back at the day that has went by, I am concerned about many things. Of these the tranquilzation of what is going on around us (I,students,youth) is the most concerning. We have come to a point where youth and in particular students are taught to go with the status quo, to not try and make concrete change, to not challenge anything only because it can jeopardize funding, because it can make the “State Dept.” angry or because it can just flat out cause someone to lose their “paycheck”, but is this really correct?
Sure we/I “broke” a rule, but does that make that rule right in the first place? What about when Rosa Parks broke the law in 1955?—A law that said that it was illegal for a person of color to sit in a certain section of a bus? Rules are made to evolve over time, and to adjust to the people who they are being governed by.
Yeah, yeah I may be making a minuscule issue into a very big one, but this is how I legitimately feel. I am placing myself out on the line for something that I believe in, and I shall not be silenced any more. It is only the beginning. I shall not be told to “keep my place” a saying that has been drilled down from the beginning of a slave trade that devastated millions of my people. I will not stand for cultural self-destruction. I will not blind myself into thinking that creating leaders in America’s education system is obtained through multiple acronyms and standardized tests: GPA, ACT, SAT, and most of all the dreaded “Exit Exam”.
So I said all of that to say this…America’s education system is fundamentally messed up and it’s about time for it to be fixed.
Jonathan Rashad Carlisle
Youth Senior Organizing Fellow
IDEA:Institute for Democratic Education in America
Francis Marion High School, Class of 2013
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.