This past Tueday, March 23rd, a group of around 50 High School students, joined by members of Feminist Students United and ally groups, protested the decision by the conservative majority of the Wake County School Board to vote to scrap Wake county’s socio-economic diversity policy.

During the School Board’s hearing, the students attempted to gain enter the meeting chamber to make their voices heard, but were shut out. The group then staged a sit-in in the hallway outside the meeting, chanting loudly enough to disrupt the proceedings and force Board chairman Ron Margiotta to enter the hall and accost the protesters. The students were silenced once again when police forced sitting students to leave the building. Once outside, the students rallied in front of the building for two hours, chanting slogans like “We say no to Jim Crow, no we won’t go back!” and “Shut it down! No segregation in our town!”

In the place of Wake’s diversity policy, the “Resegregationist Five” voted to implement a community-based schools plan, in which K-12 schools would be populated only by students living in the area surrounding each school. Because of North Carolina’s long history of racist segregation and housing discrimination, today we have communities largely segregated by race and class. The “neighborhood schools” plan is inherently racist in that it would create racially and economically segregated schools. Feminist Students United is proud to stand in solidarity with these students who are taking a stand against racism in our area.

Eariler this month, Feminist Students United worked with other campus groups to say no to budget cuts, tuition hikes, worker layoffs and privatization at UNC-Chapel Hill as part of the nationwide March 4th National Day of Action to Defend Education. The coalition staged a skit about rising student debt on Monday and a teach-in about the relationship between the economic crisis and the educational crisis on Wednesday.

On Thursday, March 4th, students gathered in the pit with signs and banners to speak out against the current attempts at private takeover of public education which make higher education less and less accessible to all but the privileged. The students marched across campus onto the steps of South Building and overturned the administration’s ban on sit-ins after business hours by occupying the South Building lobby until 5:40. The March 4th day of action was a success, but the attacks on education continue. Feminist Students United is committed to future campus organizing to make higher education truly accessible to all.
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