Fight to Save our Schools and Our Neighborhoods!
RESCHEDULED: THURSDAY 04/06/2012 at 5pm!
4555 John C Lodge Fwy (corner of Lodge service drive and Forest Ave)
The maintenance of the Detroit Day School for the Deaf is a question of respect for the dignity of deaf students and their right to choose to be educated in an environment where there is a critical mass of deaf people to socialize with and learn from.
The Day School for the Deaf is a unique school specifically designed to serve the needs of deaf students, many of whom do not have anyone at home who knows sign language. Myron Pittman, a DDSD student, describes it this way: “Outside this school, we are isolated in a world of silence and we are silenced. We are lonely and bored. At mainstream schools we have to rely on adult interpreters to communicate. At mainstream schools we can’t participate in extra-curricular activities, like sports, because there are not interpreters for them.”
At the rally, students from Detroit Day School for the Deaf will be joined by students from Southwestern, Crockett, Southeastern, Cass and Western High Schools. Southwestern and Crockett are also slated to be closed at the end of the year, and Southeastern High School is among the 15 DPS schools targeted for take-over the by state-run “Educational Achievement Authority.”
“We need to unite if we are going to stop the powers-that-be from closing down our schools and special programs and overcrowding the schools that are left,” said Sally Youssef, a junior at Southwestern. “Every time they have closed schools, they have destroyed whole neighborhoods. We are fighting for the life of our city.”
“I was part of the fight to keep Catherine Ferguson Academy open last year, and I know that the determination of the CFA students who sat down helped keep open many other schools that were on the closing list. We shouldn’t fight each other for crumbs – we need to fight together for the education we all need and deserve,” said Leroy Lewis, the Southeastern student and BAMN organizer who led the walkouts last year which won the restoration of music and drama programs at SEHS.
“Everyone who wants to save Detroit Public Schools and the city of Detroit should come out and join this fight. We are fighting for everyone’s right to a quality education,” added Liana Mulholland, BAMN organizer and Cass Tech alumnus who was among the first group of learning-disabled students to be admitted to Cass Tech in 2001.