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Student Reaction: Poli-Sci Hotspot

April 12, 2011

A moment today made me realize how much I’ve learned this semester in this class. I officially think in terms of political science in my spare time. How is this possible? Facebook stalking, obviously. So, I am from outside of Cleveland as I have written about before, and right now, my suburb is struggling. The State government is cutting school budgets in many better-off areas and sending that money to poorer districts in order to help improve other school systems without a huge deficit. This leaves school district superintendents the decision to reapportion the district budgets and the way that this is likely going to be done in Solon, my suburb, is causing quite a ruckus. Two things will happen when Solon gets its budget cut:

1)    The music program will be cut entirely

2)    30+ teachers will be fired from the high school alone.

Solon has consistently been ranked the best public school district in Ohio and has been very privileged— but suddenly, they are faced with disaster. It may not seem that extreme, but of the 2000 high school students that attend the highschool, about 1/3 of them are involved in the music program in some way, be it band, choir, or drama. Yet once again, we see Solnit: disaster bands us together. Solon High School and the Solon community are banding together in order to change this fate. They accept the fact that they are losing the money but are aiming to apportion some of the cuts elsewhere. The most amazing part in my mind, is the students’ facebook group to plan against this “plague”… it’s a political theory madhouse.


Here is the description of the group, straight from facebook (notice the great grammar):


Join us in the fight to save our future. We are an association of students from Solon High School hoping to fight back against the unfair budget cuts that are happening in our school. We as students deserve a say in how we are educated. And thats what this group was designed to do. To give you, the students of Solon High School, a chance to raise your objections to this crisis in an organized and appropriate manner. The group is open to all Solon High School students and soon to be open to students in other districts, this doesnt only effect Solon but all of Ohio. This is a page that will be a rallying point for our cause where you can find info on what is happening and ways to commmunicate your message. Students arent usually heard in political issues that often concern us the most. With your help, we can put up an organized resistance to this unfair and detrimental policy that may be implemented at SHS. Please keep in mind, we are not a political organiztion; we are not fighting the school board. We are just students trying to make a difference and truly influence the future of Ohio education for the better. Thank you for your valued support, and keep spreading the message.


First— my mind wanders off to Marx and Engels and the proletariat that is the students. They are far more driven and will inevitable attempt to overthrow the bourgeoisie (the lazy and careless school board)  suddenly, my mind drifts away from the industrial revolution and into Burke and that of the French. The working class (student body) is left with nothing but oppression and unfair treatment, so what to they do– revolt! The students secretly plot against the administration, and when no one expects it, they will strike.


Here comes the best part! Some of the students that are most active on the facebook page are beginning to try to organize this strike when someone says:


“i was thinking why don’t we have some like demonstration like a peaceful one to show that we don’t agree with this like ether not going to classes and just stand outside of the school or like have everyone refuse to talk something simple but gets a lot more attention then just having a group…”


This is a perfect example of civil disobedience. SO it’s back to MLK, peaceful uprising, do what you can to change the circumstances and get what you want. They are planning to get together in the school cafeteria secretly to organize this event, and I will share when I hear about it.  BUT THEN…


“Ive been hearing a lot of talk about leaders and whos in charge of what. Again, id like to emphasie that everyone has an equal say in thi group, however, we still need organization! We need to be structured and efficient if were going to be efficient. And in order to do that the crerators of this association have contacted with the administration and are trying to figure out our next step to help, not hinder, the current battle already in progress. IN order to convey this to the masses the creators of this group are going to be acting as liassons and organizers. EVERYONE STILL HAS A SAY, AND NOBODY IS BEING SILENCED!!!!! But order is necessary, so certain organization methods have begun to be put inplace to be most efficient. Please dont take this as a power struggle or anything like that because it isnt, you all have just as much power to stop this as anyone else. We cant get caught up in argueing over whos incharge of what because we have a deadline that needs to be met AND WE NEED TO UNIFIED. BY JUNE 30TH 2011 THE BUDGET WILL BE FINAL AND WE NEED TO ENSURE ITS A BUDGET THAT DOESNT KILL OHIO SCHOOLS.”


Looks like control has been taken, and how so? In a Hobbesian student’s belief for the need of a king to cover organization and leadership … and there is now a sovereign over these 693 students that are forming together to keep them from debating and to keep everything in check (because without a sovereign, the selfish human nature comes out and there is no end to conflict… it would be impossible for the outside conflict to be settled with internal conflict brewing). It’s like a society starting from the state of nature, one with selfishness and arguments between students and panic about what will come. It is also a Solnit-like state of hope, a banding together in order to achieve greatness. It is Machiavellian leaders taking control as the sovereign and dirtying their hands by taking control and risking their approval by the school board and administration. It is Locke’s First Treatise in that “he that goes farthest out of the way, is thought fittest to lead, and is sure of most followers.” The control has been taken, the organization is being made, and now the fight against the bigger and more powerful administration (adults in charge) has begun.





One Comment
  1. Zachary TeBeau permalink
    April 14, 2011 12:19 AM

    First I would like to say that I think it is completely ridiculous that the government is cutting funding to education, because education is solely the most important thing for the betterment of our future and I really do hope that something is done to better your school district’s budget.

    That being said, I think you used excellent examples to relate almost all of the Political theorists that we have studied back to one topic. I totally agree when you said “It is Machiavellian leaders taking control as the sovereign and dirtying their hands by taking control and risking their approval by the school board and administration.” I think that the group forming between the students definitely is a representation of the state of nature from the theorists we have studied. Good Job.

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