Archive for teenager

Teen on hunger strike: "My mom [was] handcuffed, pushed into van" by 10 I.C.E. officers

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hunger strike immigration Cynthia Diaz teen

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Melissa Harris Perry interviewed hunger strike activist Cynthia Diaz, 18, who spoke out on the detention of undocumented immigrants, one of whom is her own mother. The hunger strike is taking place outside of the White House.

Her words and actions affected me deeply, as did Melissa Harris-Perry's:

DiazI am doing this hunger strike for my mom. She was unfairly deported in May, 2011. When I.C.E. raided our home, it was a Saturday morning, I was 15 at the time, and I have a younger brother who was 13. ...My dad's screaming out, "Cynthia, they're taking your mom!" I was confused because I didn't know what that meant and so I went to my front yard and there I saw ten I.C.E. officers all over my front yard and I saw my mom being handcuffed and pushed into a van.

And then the door shut and we were really confused.

My brother heard everything but he didn't leave his room because he didn't want to see what was happening.

That was really traumatizing for me because, like I said before, I was only 15 at the time...

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona... I have a brother and my dad who are U.S. residents, but I didn't know until they took my mom that, you know, she was undocumented.

MHP: So you're an american citizen. You have U.S. permanent residents in your family, and you have not eaten in days because you are trying to get your president and your government to let your mom out of detention. ...

Diaz: I talked to her last night. right now she's in San Luis, Arizona in, a private detention center. She does tell me that it's really cold there, the beds are really uncomfortable, the food is not pleasant at all.

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Seventh grade student spoke out, got kicked out. "My school is run by fear."

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Maia Wu student speaks out, kicked out of school

Having taught all grade levels in a couple of school districts, and having been a huge student advocate at those schools, when I hear about a story that starts out with this, I listen:

"My name is Maia Wu. I am 13 years old, in the 8th grade and I'm student body president of my school carrying a 4.0 GPA.... As a 7th grade student, I couldn't understand what there was to fear. ... I stood up for I believed was right... I decided to step up and help students shake off their fear and find their voices. The administration didn't seem to like this too much. I guess you could say this is where things fell apart."

That sure got my attention.

Now it's time for you to give Maia Wu some attention. (Added: She was "too outspoken" about a decision to build a fence around the school without parents and students being told first. The video explains everything, please watch, you won't be sorry.)

What happened here is an outrage and it's time to publicize her story as widely as possible. The district is all that really mattered to the district, certainly not the students, not the parents, not fairness, not open, honest, civil discourse.

Please share this post.

Via Maia Wu:

On January 17, 2014, my mom received a letter informing her that our permit to attend school has been revoked. My brother, sister, and I were kicked out of school. This is my open letter in response to the letter we received.

I was kicked out because my mom asked questions that needed to be asked.

I was kicked out because I am a free-thinker and can think for myself.

I was kicked out because I am not afraid to be heard.

I have a vision of a school that will embrace student voice and student participation in civic matters. I want to learn in an environment that welcomes free-thinkers and welcomes opposing view points as a positive means to perpetuate the democratic process.

If this is the current environment, we will produce children who live in fear of authority and not have the ability to think for themselves and will only use ideals given by higher authorities rather than trying to formalize their own.

This is the number one threat to democracy in our country. I am 13 years old, not afraid to let my voice be heard and all I wish is to return back to my school.

Wow.

But come on, Maia, protest? Peacefully? Moms attempting to communicate? Kids "think for themselves"? Don't you realize this is today's America? We are no longer encouraged to do those things here. Oh, but I kid. Sort of.

Here are a few excerpts. Transcript via EdWeek.org:

I decided to step up and help students shake off their fear and find their voices. The administration didn't seem to like this too much. I guess you could say this is where things fell apart....

Based on these flimsy, weak and ridiculous points, my brother, sister and I had our permits revoked, which essentially meant we were kicked out of our school. When we first found out, we had an overwhelming amount of support from teachers, students, friends, and family. We also immediately set up a meeting in order to organize our appeal. We were told to wait five days. The fifth day rolled along and there was no letter. My mother called the district at 4:00pm but was told the specific person we were looking for was in a meeting. She then called again at 4:40, that person was still in the meeting. Finally, at 4: 58 she called, and was told that that person had gone home. On Chinese New Year's Eve, we finally received the letter denying our permit, and our last day being the following day, Chinese New Year's. Not only had we been strung along until the last minute, but kicked out on Chinese New Year Day. That's comparable to kicking a child out on Christmas.

The letter they wrote and their revocation can easily be seen as childish retaliation to a parent standing up for her first amendment rights. My mother is a responsible, caring responsible adult who the principal and the school district is trying to paint as a deranged woman who doesn't seem to have a clue about anything. If my mother and I are guilty of fighting for our rights as American citizens and guilty of wanting America to be America, so be it. Monterey Highlands and Alhambra Unified School District are obsessed with control and are no longer thinking about students when they make choices such as revoking permits from children like my siblings and I.

I have a vision of a school that will embrace student voice and student participation in civic matters.  I want to learn in an environment that welcomes free-thinkers and welcomes opposing view points as a positive means to perpetuate the democratic process.  If this is the current environment, we will produce children who live in fear of authority and not have the ability to think for themselves and will only use ideals given by higher authorities rather than trying to formalize their own. This is the number one threat to democracy in our country. I am 13 years old, not afraid to let my voice be heard and wish to return back to my school.

These words were spoken by one remarkable seventh grader. Maia is clearly brilliant, reasonable, and rational, certainly more reasonable and rational than the "adults" in charge. You'd think any school would be honored to support and encourage Maia, her voice, and her family.

Those so-called educators could learn a lot from that 13-year-old.

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Video Overnight Thread- Loving Dad Has Heartwarming Hysterics Over Son's Report Card

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Apparently the boy had NOT been doing well in school before this. Just lovely. Via Gawker.

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VIDEO: This would "probably be the top politics story in the country if #GOPshutdown were not happening."

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abortion ban cartoon choice  nebraska

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A Nebraska anti-choice bill states that anyone under 18 who wants to have an abortion needs written permission from a parent or guardian or she can't have it. She would be blocked from getting an abortion.

Written consent from a parent or guardian is required.

A 16-year-old foster child in Nebraska requested to get an abortion without consent, but she can't, because her parents no longer have the right to be considered her parents. They abused her, so their parental rights were stripped by the state.

The teen felt she couldn't support a child financially or "be the right mom that she would like to be" and felt she needed to end the pregnancy, but no parents were available to give written consent.

Watch the video for more details, but the upshot is this:

A male judge was the one to decide for this high school student whether or not she could have an abortion, because she wasn't "sufficiently mature and well informed enough" to decide on her own.  So, again, if you live in Nebraska and you're under 18 and pregnant, you are forced to give birth against your will.

If you're under 18 and pregnant, Nebraskan legislators think you're too immature to have an abortion, but apparently not too immature to be forced to become a mother.

Abortion in Nebraska is legal for adults, but not for this teenager, because see, she was beaten up and neglected by her family, so the state made the decision for her.

And now, in addition to coping with her violent past, she must carry her pregnancy to full term, go through the trauma of a delivery and any possible complications, put the baby up for adoption, because, see, she's mature enough to handle all that-- all while trying to keep up with school and life in general-- but not grown up enough to decide what to do with her own body.

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