Maia Wu, the Southern California middle school student and 8th grade class president given the boot by her school district for her outspokenness, continues to press for her reinstatement. At last night’s school board meeting, Wu once again stood up and addressed the board, as can be seen in this video.
Two weeks ago I shared news of Maia Wu, a 4.0 student in Southern California who was attempting to convince her school district to allow her and her two siblings to attend school. Their inter-district permit had been revoked, after she had spoken out about the way decisions were being made at her school.
On her latest video, posted this morning, Maia Wu states:
On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, my family and I were denied an opportunity to meet with the Alhambra Unified School Board in a closed session to discuss a possible solution to our revocation. We would not concede to their attempt to silence us so we showed up during the public session.
Following the meeting, she answered some questions from a supporter. She expressed appreciation for all the support she has received.
First and foremost, I have received plenty of support from my family, and my friends at Highlands, as well as some staff members. I've also received countless amounts of support from people on Facebook, from people signing my petition, and they're from across the country - it's been absolutely amazing. So many emails coming to me, relaying stories that relate to mine - which is disheartening. But it's great to know that I have so many supporters out there willing to help me.
How do you feel about the importance of student voice in your own education?
I cannot stress enough how important it is, because imagine a society where we had people just complying and conforming to everything.... If we don't have a voice in anything, and if we just simply conform to whatever is being done, nothing is going to change, and we are not going to build good leaders to continue our country from generation to generation. It's all going to be weaklings.
What are your next steps?
We're definitely coming back, that's for sure. But we're coming back with people who have similar stories, and they're going to be using their voices, to give their perspective on things. They think we're going to go away, but we're not. They think that we're scared - but in reality, they are. We are the future. I know there's a lot of people out there who are absolutely terrified of speaking up, but don't be. Because what you are doing is not wrong. Remember that. It is not wrong. It is completely constitutional and within our rights as human beings and American citizens. So if you think it's wrong, speak up about it, and you can make a difference.
Update, Thursday, March 6, 4:15 pm EST: Maia Wu and her younger sister have been allowed to return to school. This is a major victory. Maia will be joining other student activists at the EmpowerEd conference in Los Angeles, March 29.
What do you think? Is it important to support Maia Wu and other students who speak out?
Continue the dialogue with Anthony on Twitter.
The opinions expressed in Living in Dialogue are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.