UPDATE: The action outside just ended. I’ll update when I know more, but he school is open now. I’m told the students who left are being prevented from re-entering.
It is 31 degrees in Newark. And this is the scene right now, posted minutes ago, outside Barringer High School:
At noon today, students at Barringer High School planned a walkout to protest the chaotic and disrespectful ‘One Newark’ plan of Cami Anderson and Chris Christie. But now, it’s a few minutes after noon, and the heat is off in many of the rooms at the school. And Barringer is in lockdown, with security trying to block the doors and keep students in. Some students have gotten out, congregating outside.
Barringer is the oldest high school in Newark. Bob Braun chronicled some of the ongoing problems at the school under ‘One Newark’ here – classes with no teachers, teacherless classrooms, lunchtimes with no food, and class sizes reaching into the sixties. Unclear to me at this time, whether heat was intentionally shut off or simply that the school’s building’s heating system is faulty.
A few days ago, a busload of parent, teachers, community members and students went down to Washington D.C. to attend a speech by Cami Anderson called “The Story of Newark: Cami Anderson on the challenges, successes and lessons of school reform.” Her speech was at the pro-business, pro-privatization think tank American Enterprise Insitute. When she spotted them in the audience, Anderson and an aide tried to have security throw them out. Instead the students began speaking out about what Cami Anderson’s real story is in Newark, and she fled the room, canceling the speech. Among the students were Barringer kids, who reported awful conditions, including classes with 36 students and only 4 textbooks to share.