[VIDEO] Children in Puerto Rico lead protest of last minute school closing
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, young children led a protest march to the last minute closing of their school in the Llorens Torres community of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A community that has been historically marginalized, under-serviced and under-resourced. The housing project consists of 140 buildings and about 2,600 units.
The Sunday before the school was set to open its doors post hurricane Maria, the director of the school was informed through a phone call that their school was being removed from a list of (very few) schools eligible to open, even after an approval rating from engineers that marked it safe for opening and able to receive students. No explanation was given to the children or the community. As a result, children and parents marched to demand answers.
“What is happening with Luis Llorens Torres school is an injustice!”
Part of the way the (unelected) fiscal control board overseeing Puerto Rico believes that wealthy hedge fund managers should be paid their debt back is by closing public schools. While Hurricane Maria has certainly exacerbated school closures, it is important to remember that before the hurricane hit the island, the fiscal control board had already ordered and closed over 180 public schools. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showed us the devastating results for Black and Brown children due to school closures and privatization. We must support our children as they fight for their right to an education.
“Last Tuesday, the school appeared to be one of the few schools that were going to open and receive students.”