You get advocates with an impossible-to-ignore voice for schools.
You get a “school walk-in,” and there will be hundreds of them across the nation on February 17.
The walk-ins are a project of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, of which NEA is a member. Although the 17th is the target date, a walk-in can happen anytime; it depends on what’s best for your school community. (And who says you have to stop at just one?)
Plenty of resources are available online to assist in planning a school walk-in, including a sample timeline of activities and program for the day, a list of tasks with which volunteers can help, and ideas for keeping the momentum going. Generally, the actions start with participants gathering outside to picket before the school day begins.
The beauty of the concept is that it can be tailored to suit local needs.
In some cities, walk-ins are an ongoing tool for drawing attention to specific challenges and threats to public schools. For instance, walk-ins have been held at more than 100 schools in Milwaukee to protest a new law that could result in struggling schools being taken over and turned into charters.
In San Diego, the focus has been on over-testing and giving students time to learn and educators time to teach. In Seattle, the emphasis is on better funding so that our committed members can provide students with the tools and resources they need, regardless of ZIP code.
By walking in together, we make a powerful statement about the value of students and the value of what we do.