Detroit area students to create "educational bill of rights"

Apr 27, 2011

More than 100 students are expected to attend a youth forum in Detroit on Apr. 26 to share their ideas for what makes a good school. The forum is  put on by the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and starts at 5:30 p.m.

Rick Sperling is the group’s founder. He says lawmakers, school board members, and teachers have all voiced their opinions about school reform, but he says student voices have been missing from the conversation:

"This is an opportunity for young people who go to Detroit Public Schools, charter school, private schools, schools from around the area, to get together and say what they feel every young person should be entitled to; what the educational rights should be."

The students will be treated to pizza and pop, and they'll create an “educational bill of rights." Sperling says he plans to share that list with policymakers.

The youth forum marks the 45th anniversary of a walkout at Northern High School in Detroit. Students there were angry about the poor quality of education they were getting, so they walked out and formed their own student-run school until their demands for a better education were met.

The forum is in conjunction with the Mosaic Youth Theatre's world premiere of "Northern Lights 1966: The powerful true story of Detroit students who stood up for their rights – and won!"

The play runs May 12-22 at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the DIA.  More information here: www.mosaicdetroit.org.