On Tuesday, dozens of students were pepper sprayed by campus police at Santa Monica College while protesting outside a Board of Trustees meeting.
At least two people were hospitalized and several others injured when a crowd of 100 people tried to enter the room where the meeting was being held. Students were opposed to plans for a two-tier tuition scheme, whereby the college will charge students triple for popular courses that fill up quickly.
Videos posted on the internet showed a crowd of students gathered outside the meeting room chanting, “Let us in!” and “Shame on you!”
The campus police refused to let them in during the public comments section, saying the room was at capacity. An overflow room was set up but could not accommodate the number of people there. When students demanded a larger room, this request was denied.
The International Students for Social Equality opposes the planned destruction of hundreds of academic and professional jobs at the University of Sydney. The actions of the university administration are being driven by the Labor government’s pro-market “education revolution” and signify a new stage in its implementation. The Gillard government’s aim is to slash spending per student and deepen the transformation of universities from institutions of academic and intellectual achievement into profit-driven corporate concerns.
Parents in Adelanto, California, recently experienced the consequences of the state’s so-called “parent trigger” law, which allows public schools to be changed to charters on the initiative of parents. As events in Adelanto demonstrate, this law is susceptible to systematic abuse by advocates of privatized education.
The Adelanto Elementary School District board of education voted at the beginning of March to deny a petition to transform Desert Trails Elementary school into a charter. Petitioners, backed by an organization calling itself Parent Revolution, claim to have gathered signatures from the parents of 70 percent of Desert Trails students. Opponents of Parent Revolution claim that many of the signatures were gathered under false pretenses.