In the High Schools

"Hey! What's That Sound?"

by

Fifth Estate # 78, May 1-14, 1969

Progressive High School students throughout the Detroit area were shocked April 22 to read in the Detroit “News”: “Ferndale H.S. Drops 138 Negro Protesters.”

This blatantly racist act by the administration at Ferndale came down when black students walked out in protest of the treatment of their demands to the Ferndale Board of Racist Education. The students, according to spokesman Anthony Collins, had demanded a meeting on April 21, but the Board stalled, and finally postponed the meeting. So black students walked out.

School Principal John MacGregor suspended indefinitely every student who did not show up for school the next morning, until they appeared before him or an assistant principal with their parents.

Some of the student demands are black counselors, a black coach, and more black teachers. Courses in black history and black literature are also being demanded. At this time there are no black counselors, not one black coach, and only three out of the school’s 115 teachers are black although 15% of the school is black.

The Board of “Education” is supposed to meet this Monday to “discuss” the students’ demands. Meanwhile, they go through the same old racist bullshit.

Already a group of white students has been formed called Concerned Whites Unite to Support the Black Student Demands.

Student Union

A meeting to plan a High School Student Union in Detroit was held at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church on Friday, April 18. Students from Cass Tech, Dondero, Southfield, Southfield-Lathrop, and Cooley attended to discuss what form the union should take and what demands should he made.

It was decided that the students should go back to their respective schools and begin organizing around the issues that they felt would be most relevant to the students, although it was also agreed that there are issues which are relevant to all students, such as military influences in the school and the racist policies of administrations and school boards.

Organizers agreed that the school is a microcosm of society, and realized that students should he shown how school is only a tool of society to mold young people into cogs of the Machine.

Milan Panthers Victimized

White Panther Minister of Defense Pun Plamondon and Minister of Education Skip Taube have been arrested for “distributing lewd, obscene, and lascivious pamphlets which manifestingly tend to corrupt the morals of youths.”

The corrupting pamphlet was the White Panther Statement. Bogus charges stem from an incident at Milan. Michigan. High School. when six students were rewarded with expulsion for distributing the statement.

According to Pun, “They had come of their own free will to White Panther National Headquarters, 1510 Hill St., Ann Arbor, to obtain artifacts of our culture which are free to the people.” Plamondon and Taube had given them the “questionable” literature.

Cass Student Voice

A new radical paper has appeared at Cass Tech.

The Cass Student Voice. Published by a group of white radicals at Cass, the paper hopes to unite radicals and revolutionaries around the school in a common effort to liberate it.

Included in the paper are the twenty demands of the black students presented to the Board of Education on March 25, with a statement from the Voice: “In accordance with this newspaper’s policy of supporting any individual or group which is struggling for freedom and liberation at the hands of an oppressor, we support the demands made both by the black community and the black students in their heroic struggle against the racist policies of the school board.”

New York Student Union

We recently received a copy of the New York High School Free Press, which is “Of, by, and for liberated High School Students.” It contains an article on the teachers’ strike in New York, an article similar to this with news from all over the country, a statement by the union, and a full two-page poster, “High School Students Unite!”

It is a sixteen page offset paper, which shows where the H.S. Movement is at in New York. Interested students can write: New York High School Free Press, 200 West 72nd Street, New York, New York, 10023.

Dearborn

Nothing much seems to have come out of the rally in Dearborn, April 9th except a leaflet which was left at this office with the demands- of the students there.

A couple of the demands are as follows: “That the student newspaper, being a student publication, be allowed to print any point of view or information relevant to the students without being edited or restricted in any way by the faculty or administration. That the right of the students to gather for any purpose be recognized and to use the school facilities as meeting places, without sponsorship, unless such a meeting would clearly endanger the students or endanger the educational process.”

I was told by organizers from the National Organizing Committee that they were not allowed to take part in the rally because they were “outsiders.” Brothers and Sisters in Dearborn: there can be no outsiders when we are all oppressed by the Man! High School students should use all means necessary to liberate themselves and their society. The term “outside agitator” is the Pigs’ term; let’s not get hung up in his bullshit.

Quote

“Education, meaning, ‘to educe,’ to draw out from, has become something that the state gives to the people. Finally, teachers and students, both dehumanized distributors and consumers of the knowledge commodity, become commodities themselves—something to be bought and sold…” Carl Davidson, The New Radicals in the Multiversity.

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