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President Obama's Speech and Civil Disobedience for School Choice

Lisa Snell
September 8, 2009, 1:11pm

As President Obama told school children today "Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need ..."

Apparently not everything, because the President still has refused to support the evidence-based Washington DC Scholarship program and let 216 children who had their vouchers revoked attend higher-quality schools like where his own children attend.

As Reuters reports school-choice leaders decided that today was a good day to engage in some civil disobedience.

In a dramatic act of civil disobedience today, six national education leaders blocked the main entrance of the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to protect the endangered Washington, D.C. school voucher program. The protesters refused to leave the premises for nearly an hour, leading to a standoff with police. Apparently on orders from federal officials, no arrests were made.

The individuals blocking entrance to the building were: former Democratic D.C. Councilman Kevin P. Chavous, longtime D.C. education activist and executive director of DC Parents for School Choice Virginia Walden Ford, the Rev. Anthony Motley, Black Alliance for Educational (BAEO) Board Chair Dr. Howard Fuller, BAEO President Gerard Robinson, and education reform leader Darrell Allison.

The protesters-who sought to block the entrance of the Department because "the President and the Secretary have blocked low-income parents from accessing the schools of their parents` choice"-were cheered on by 50 families and supporters, including Councilman Marion Barry.


Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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