The frustration over New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s reductions in state aid for education—resulting in many districts having to cut staff, reduce programs, and increase class sizes—has been mounting for a while.
According to the New York Times, 18,000 students accepted a recent Facebook invitation to join in protest over the cuts. Many of these students and others walked out of class in “one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years,” reports the Times.
The originator of the Facebook invitation was Michelle Ryan Lauto, an 18-year-old freshman college student at Pace University and graduate of Northern Regional High School in Old Tappan, N.J.
“All I did was make a Facebook page,” she said. “Anyone who has an opinion could do that and have their opinion heard.”
In the state’s largest noted demonstration, Newark’s high school students showed up by the thousands, according to the Times. They marched through city traffic to the City Hall steps.
Said Johanna Pagan, a 16-year-old Newark sophomore, “It feels like [the governor] is taking money from, and we’re already poor. The schools have had bad reputations, and we need aid and we need programs to help.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.