Student Well-Being

Totally Radical

September 01, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Radical Teen squad roots for political causes rather than football teams.
—Photograph by Steve Goldstein

Don’t let the kick pleats and matching tops fool you—these cheerleaders are anything but typical. For the past year, the 10 or so Los Angeles high schoolers who are Radical Teen Cheer have been showing up at protests, demonstrations, and benefits, sometimes as often as five times a week. They address issues, ranging from the U.S. presence in Iraq to sexual assault to sweatshops, with staccato lines such as “Hey Bush! Who fights your wars? Just mi-nor-i-ties and the poor.” And they aren’t the only ones. Politically oriented cheering squads have cropped up across the United States, though their members are largely college-age or older.

In fact, RTC was born after a couple of teachers (who wish to remain anonymous) heard about one squad and passed along the idea. Students from several communities got involved, some of whom are also on regular high school cheering teams—including Larry (the, yes, guy in the middle of the large photo). Yesenia (third from left), one of the founding members of the group, says they all do it because they’re committed to a message. “Equality and diversity. Equality between classes and all types of people. We all have to stick together,” the 18-year-old states. “It’s like, the performance grabs attention, and then the message gets out. We’re not just a bunch of kids yelling and screaming.”

—Lani Harac

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion In Uncertain Times, Students Need to Be Able to Adapt
They might need to hang in there when the going gets tough, but it’s also important to adjust when circumstances change.
Andrew Martin
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Q&A Communications Expert Explains: How to Talk to Parents About COVID Vaccination
A Johns Hopkins University expert discusses a new training project on how to communicate about the sensitive issue.
7 min read
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters rally outside the garage doors of the Los Angeles Unified School District, LAUSD headquarters in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, 2021. The Los Angeles board of education voted to require students 12 and older to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend in-person classes in the nation's second-largest school district.
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters rally outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters in September, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says New Research Shows How Bad the Pandemic Has Been for Student Mental Health
Researchers say the road to recovery will be a long one.
4 min read
2016 Opinion ELL 840293800
E+/Getty
Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor Policymakers Must Prioritize SEL
SEL is important both to help students overcome challenges caused by the pandemic and to build resilience in the longterm, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
iStock/Getty