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Detroit Police Forcibly Remove Occupying Students from Catherine Ferguson Academy

Angela, Aya and I stopped by the Catherine Ferguson Academy after feeding the chickens at Spirit Farm yesterday afternoon. CFA is a Detroit public high school for pregnant and parenting teen girls- the only one of its kind in the nation. We heard that the students had decided to protest the closing of their school and others in the Detroit Public School System by occupying the school during their spring break.

We had the privilege of visiting with the occupying students while Angela took requests for the meals that she planned to make for them throughout the coming week.

We also spoke with one of the BAMN organizers. I’m looking for more details on how BAMN got involved and next steps and will post them when I have them. Note April 29th: I’ve removed the link to BAMN with thanks AMB.

We left CFA to get to meetings and errands but were encouraged by the strength and determination of these young mothers and their supporters. During the meeting we received the news that the police had arrived at CFA and that the students needed support. We headed on over and lit up the social networks with updates and photos.


When the students were removed from the school Angela and Aya headed home. The police were more militant in stance than I had expected and we wanted to make sure that Aya had a chance to decompress and warm up. Luckily this wasn’t his first protest/action though it was his first with police involvement.

I jumped in a car with a friend and went on to the Detroit police station where the students were being held. Once the students were released I shot this video of one of them describing her experience. I doubt that this part of the story will be told by corporate media. That’s why I’m sharing it here and asking others to do the same.

 

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8 comments

1 Sophie { 04.16.11 at 6:23 pm }

Closing this school would do nothing more than push this already marginalized group to the cracks. The success rate (self reported) discussed in that video is incredible, and even if it isn’t quite that good, it’s still better than a lot of public high schools in this country! Taking this opportunity away from these students will not prevent teen pregnancy and motherhood. All it will do is push them out of sight, through the cracks, and I’m afraid to a higher dependency on public assistance in this country. If they’re doing good things, give them support! Don’t take it away.

2 Vivian Johnson { 04.16.11 at 7:53 pm }

Where are these moms going to get themselves educated, if this school closes? The citizens in the city of Detroit should be outraged by the actions of the Emergencey Financial Manager for DPS. The children in Detroit have a right to the same quality education that their counterparts recieve in other school districts. How can we expect for them to be useful and productive members of sociey without a quality education? We must find a way to stop the closing of so many schools, and cuts to educational funding.

3 Carolyn { 04.17.11 at 5:33 pm }

How can I help?

4 Teen Mothers Arrested, Children Taken Into Temporary Custody { 04.23.11 at 3:30 pm }

[...] Detroit Police Forcibly Remove Occupying Students from Catherine Ferguson Academy [...]

5 Detroit Public Schools: No News is Bad News | Critical Moment { 04.26.11 at 5:49 am }

[...] and conversion to charter are unacceptable options. They are organizing direct actions, including a building occupation, ahead of the decision date to keep CFA open as public school. “We know that Bobb may not listen [...]

6 linda johnson { 04.28.11 at 2:52 pm }

I would like to help also. How can I do this?

7 Detroit Closes School for Pregnant Girls « Nel's New Day { 05.19.11 at 4:54 am }

[...] upset, eight of the pregnant students with their children and some faculty members held a sit-in to protest the school’s closure after letter-writing and petition campaigns failed. What should be done with [...]

8 Detroit Public Schools: No News is Bad News | Paul Abowd { 06.28.11 at 9:43 pm }

[...] and conversion to charter are unacceptable options. They are organizing direct actions, including a building occupation, ahead of the decision date to keep CFA open as public school. “We know that Bobb may not listen [...]

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