Civil Disobedience Protest in DC for School Choice

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From the desk of Kevin Chavous, who spoke at an event we held on school choice and the Know-Nothing Amendments, is an announcement that this morning, as the school day begins, is “First-Ever School Choice Civil Disobedience Protest Set for Washington, D.C. at U.S. Dept. of Education.” [Check out their website !] Their goal is to save the endangered D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Washington, D.C. (September 8, 2009)—In the first-ever act of school choice-related civil disobedience, prominent education reform leaders will block entrance to the U.S. Department of Education building today at 9:30 A.M. and demand that President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan act immediately to save and strengthen the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The protest will take place at 9:30 a.m. today, Tuesday, September 8, at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters (4th and Maryland Avenues, SW) in Washington, D.C.

Protest leaders Kevin P. Chavous, Virginia Walden Ford, Rev. Anthony J. Motley, Dr. Howard Fuller, Gerard Robinson, and Darrell Allison say they will stand and block entrance to the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in a show of support for the 216 low-income District students who, because of actions by President Obama and Secretary Duncan, were refused entry this week into the schools of their parents’ choice. The Department of Education revoked the Opportunity Scholarships of these 216 children last Spring.


“President Obama plans to speak to America’s schoolchildren through a televised address on Tuesday afternoon,” said Kevin P. Chavous, a former Democratic D.C. City Councilman and board member of DC Children First. “Now, he owes it to the families of D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program recipients—as well as to the 216 children who saw their scholarships revoked by the Education Department—to answer important questions about the futures of these children and many others.”

“President Obama and Secretary Duncan need to face the cameras today and explain to D.C. families why they seek to end one of the most successful federally-funded education programs,” said Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice. “The way this Administration has treated these children is deplorable.”

Among those taking part are:

– The Hon. Kevin P. Chavous, Board Member, DC Children First, Former Ward 7 D.C. City Councilman
– Virginia Walden Ford, Executive Director, DC Parents for School Choice/ DC Black Alliance for Educational Options
– Rev. Anthony J. Motley, Chair, Social Action Committee, Council of Churches of Greater Washington
– Dr. Howard Fuller, Chair, Black Alliance for Educational Options
Former Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools
– Gerard Robinson, President, Black Alliance for Educational Options
– Darrell Allison, President, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina