As Wisconsin unions rally to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s emergency budget proposal that would get rid of most of the state workers’ collective bargaining privileges, video posted on YouTube appears to show teachers pulling high school students into the conflict.
The video, taken by Wisconsin’s conservative MacIver Institute, shows students from Madison’s East High School claiming their teachers brought them to protests at the State Capitol and also openly admitting that they really don’t know why they’re there:
High school students in Wisconsin have staged walk-outs in support of their teachers over the last two days, much to the delight of liberal sites such as The Nation and the blog of the AFL-CIO.
The Appleton Post Crescent reports on some of those walk-outs:
Incensed by Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to end most collective bargaining rights from teachers and other public employees, about 200 Appleton East High School students filed out of class at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday chanting, “Save our teachers, save our school.”
Similar protests occurred Tuesday in school districts across Wisconsin, including large walkouts in Platteville, Sheboygan and Stoughton.
John Matthews, who heads the Madison teachers union, asked the school superintendent to close schools today because few teachers and staff represented by the union will be present.
Classes in some Madison schools were in fact canceled because 40 percent of the 2,600 members in the teacher bargaining unit had called in sick.
On Tuesday, The Nation, the home of revolutionary-lover Frances Fox Piven, praised the high school students:
Even before the protests hit the state’s capital, about a hundred high school students in Stoughton, Wisconsin, a city about 20 miles outside of Madison, walked out of class Monday morning to protest the governor’s proposal. And today, nearly 800 Madison East High School students also walked out to join the demonstration.
“Let’s show Gov. Walker that we care about learning, and the teachers are worth every cent that we pay to them,” Theron Luhn, a high school junior who helped organize the protest in Stoughton Monday, told one of the local newspapers The Capital Times.
So, too, did the AFL-CIO. “The students have been so energized,” AFSCME Local 2412 President Gary Mitchell told the AFL-CIO blog.
Other video shot at the protests Tuesday showed more comparisons between Walker and former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak: