Western HS Students Think Outside the Box With Detroit Independent Freedom Schools

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Daniel Moore, a student from Western High School in Southwest Detroit, reflects on his experiences with Detroit Independent Freedom Schools. 

Educating young citizens about the history of the Detroit school system and the importance of an Emergency Manager, the Repair the World Workshop offered by Freedom School hosted several students from Western International High School on April 26-27, including myself. Freedom School is a place where youth can learn things not often taught in regular school sessions. This Freedom School explained a variety of ways that we could make an impact on our own school structure.

During the two sessions, we discussed current issues on Education Equality which brought up recognizable problems with which we could relate. Most importantly, we talked about the Emergency Management Act which is taking away the power of our citizens and negatively affecting our city. As a result of the emergency managers’ actions, things we never did or would have agreed to are taking place right under our noses. The Freedom Schools are vital, because they are most free to inform the young people who are directly suffering the results.

The learning did not end there. Youth organizers came in to speak on a panel about what they do and what they believe. The panel consisted of the Black Youth Project, Voices for Earth Justice, Black Lives Matter and Raiz up. Learning from all the people who are working hard to make our city a better place was truly inspiring. Being able to sit down with my peers and talk to these compassionate people was truly an amazing experience.

My only wish is that more youths were there to hear it. Hopefully, the next Freedom School session will happen soon and twice as many youths will attend!

By Daniel Moore

April 29, 2016

Western Freedom School

3 Comments

  1. This is great work. In a discussion with another of the elected school board members in exile, i was interested in her perspective that the freedom school seems to equate to conceding that we have lost the right to govern our own schools, and that there is no discussion on the questions of governance in the pedagogy.

    This is an interesting question to me. I know that there are well intentioned people involved, but many have not lost voting rights or been denied such. Not all people are equally impacted by the stripping away of governance. Any thoughts on this?

    • What does it matter whether we concede it or not? It’s true. What matters is how we decide to fight back: By continuing to beg white supremacist corporate patriarchal EMFs to stop being what they are and doing what they do? or(r) by using the power of education and organizing to create chinks in their armor so we can eventually stop them?
      The assumption that there’s no discussion of governance is incorrect. There has been plenty of such discussion, and it will continue.
      Thank you for acknowledging the great work. More than “well intentioned”, I contend that we are being strategic. A space to get beyond begging the corporate state for relief from neoliberalism (its lifeblood) is long overdue. Let the debates begin. Let’s fight the class war to win!

  2. Hey! Nice post thanks for sharing this….

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