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Students, Teachers, And Community Get UPSET About School Budget Crisis

A Grant High School history teacher organized with students and the community an event call "UPSET" three weeks ago on Facebook to bring awareness to the public and city leaders about how devastating these cuts and closures are to our schools, teachers and students. Now this event has brought out over 1,000 people in support on 5/11.
Report:

Between 1000 and 1,500 students, teachers, community members, and organizers came out yesterday for the UPSET event which at last morning count had over 1,300 people joined on Facebook. As I entered the Rose Garden arena I seen a sea of children and adolescents along with parents and teachers swarming with signs and banners protesting the ridiculous budget cuts they are faced with. Never have I felt such moving emotion. As youth held their signs high for my camera, I felt something. Why is it now that students have to take to the streets with their teachers to get the message across in this country? These kids are trying to save their teachers' jobs and their future. It's time our elected leaders take action!

Video of this event to be added soon

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Under Corporatism 12.May.2012 07:52

cog in the wheel

We are all slaves of production, nothing more, to a failing Empire that kills exploits and controls the masses with depravity and fear. Education is not supported because people are not supported look what this system does to pregnant pigs --gestation crates- they can not even move or turn around their whole miserable lives while producing. All to make the corporations a buck.

If this cruelty is allowed standardized and sold like it is currently -- anywhere in any society you can bet your bottom dollar that corporatism is going to do it to all life on the planet.Institutionalize the child-- There is plenty of funding for prisons because that provides cheap labor for the corporations-- Societies are dumbed down, compartmentalized and standardized and it is evident in all the testing students must endure.

The empire strikes back-- corporatism wants their minds in a box-- if they can not physically put their bodies there. It's a war on life itself-- all to maximize the profits-- no matter the costs. How much liberty and eco-system (which all real life depends) are human animals willing to give up?

A System of corporatism does not support an educated society it breeds brain dead zombies designed to seek and destroy all truth, all compassion, all companionship, and all communities of productive healthy people. All life under corporatism is worth only what the corporation can extract.

This empire of corporatism will seek to break our children's minds, and bodies. The failing Empire will medicate, placate, devastate, exploit, and consume all in its way.It does not want a slave class that can think for themselves. Get in line buddy , buck up, or die-- Malcolm X said it precisely said, "the chicken's have come home to roost."

Why weren't more people UPSET? 14.May.2012 22:10

We were there

We were there.

There were probably more than 1,500 people -- closer to 2,500 judging by how many people filled Pioneer Courthouse Square.

It was a shame that not more people showed up. Given that school budget cuts affect everyone, but particularly parents of children in public schools, there are far more than 2,500 families utilizing the Portland Public School System for the education of their children, not including the number of teachers serving the youth in Portland Public Schools. I hope that the absentees wrote letters to the editor or letters to their legislators as recommended by UPSET since they chose not to march or attend the rally. Due to the proportionately small number of participants, the urgency of the need was not made that convincing. There was a good showing of youth from Franklin, Grant and Lincoln High Schools and Buckman Elementary School. Thank you to those youth and their families who proved to the rest of us that they cared enough to rush to the Rose Quarter (or Pioneer Courthouse Square) on an unseasonably hot Friday afternoon rather than heading to the mall to jumpstart the weekend. Even with school dismissals after 3:00 p.m., that is still time enough to get to the rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square, if not to the Rose Quarter.

I was shocked and irritated at the number of individuals (cronies of the School Board?) who were pushing the school construction bond ("Schools Heart Buildings") at this event. These individuals did a disservice to the UPSET movement, which had asked that march and rally participants just focus on the issue of school budget cuts (layoffs of at least 100 teachers; layoffs of support staff, including bilingual aides; furlough days; elimination of electives such as art, foreign language and music) at the UPSET march and rally and not focus on campaigning for issues peripherally relevant to the issue.

Many people -- even those without children in Portland Public Schools -- supported education last year, despite very difficult economic times, by voting FOR the school levy to pay teachers and help reduce class size. The school construction bond did not pass because voters have lost faith in the PPS' ability to manage funds in a fiscally responsible manner. The Legal Counsel for the School and the Superintendent and select PPS employees were even censured by the Oregon Department of Education for using school property (photocopiers, copying paper, office personnel services) to promote the School Construction Bond and for using "loaded" language in the publicity regarding the school construction bond issue that was prominently displayed in the schools. Ironically, the "censure" only consisted of a $75 fine. (Compare that to the $250 fine being exacted on fare-skippers on Trimet. I guess it's "worse" to cheat a corporation of a $2.50 fare than to cheat taxpayers of potentially at least $600 annually by misrepresentation.)

We gave up a substantial chunk of a hot afternoon to head downtown to support public school youth and their families and their teachers and their right to an education. We did not give up a substantial chunk of a hot Friday afternoon to demonstrate our support for a school construction bond. We were disappointed that the vast majority of the parties who had a real stake in this event (families with school-age children in Portland Public Schools) could not even bother to show up.... If they're not that upset, should we be?