ESEA, School Librarians, and What Comes Next
Fresh on the heels of the passage of ESSA, the new education act that was just signed into law and included language for school librarians, the Mayor of Chicago and the Chicago Public School system made the decision to cut the librarian at the DuSable High School.
Much to their surprise, the students at the high school have risen in protest and staged a read-in to fight for the reinstatement of their beloved librarian. In fact, over 200 Students walked out of class, grabbed books from the school library, and took a seat on the floor in the hallway to conduct a "read-in" or "sit-in."
— KC Boyd (@Boss_Librarian) December 11, 2015
“The librarian is like a mentor to me, a resource,” said 17-year-old senior Sabaria Dean. “She's dedicated her entire life to DuSable and the children in it. She deserves to be here.”
Sabaria said the librarian is “the heart of the school” and the students want her back.
“We had all students sit in the hallway, silently, to get viral attention from the chief executive of all public schools,” Sabaria said. Their hash tag #saveourlibrary has been getting retweets all morning.
We recently wrote about the passage of ESSA and what that means for schools and school librarians and why it’s so important. Most significantly, this act includes good language for the inclusion of school libraries and librarians unlike the language in the disastrous NCLB. In fact, over the last 10 years we’ve lost thousands of colleagues in K-12 and we’ve seen school libraries close around the country because they were not specifically included in NCLB. Now, we see that even though school librarians are included in ESSA, the fight isn’t over at all. We will continue to lose libraries and colleagues until librarians, like these students, take a stand and fight back.
This amazing community action by the students can be followed online with the hashtag #saveourlibrary. We encourage anyone on twitter to support these students by retweeting their messages and helping to get their voices heard.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
If you want to take some action, please show even more support for these students and libraries by signing their pledge to support their school libraries on their change.org petition.
If you would like to show your support for all libraries, please sign our pledge on our action page.
-Patrick "PC" Sweeney
EveryLibrary Political Director