Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Walk-Out is done, but the problems sure aren't

Today's Walk-Out to the University of Washington was a fantastic success. Tons of students from Garfield, Roosevelt, Ingraham, Nathan Hale, Ballard, and other schools came out to show their support at the UW's Red Square. It was great seeing all of you there!!!

That said, we still have work to do before we can rest. The Washington Legislation still has only so much money, and still they struggle to make ends meet - cutting education in the process. So, take a minute to contact your Representative and let them know that public education is still a critical service and it needs to be funded - or else the future might be different than we hope.

A special thanks to everyone who came out today, as well as these organizations:
Ballard High School Administration - Ingraham High School Administration - Nathan Hale High School Administration - Roosevelt High School Administration - Tacoma School District Administration - Todd Beamer High School Administration - Garfield High School Administration - The University of Washington - Seattle Central Community College - Seattle University - The Seattle Police Department - Metro Transit.

Thank you for Walking Out! Keep in Touch!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Upcoming Events

SWaC is sponsoring another Walk-Out, this time in coalition with the University of Washington. Taking place on December 14th, students will leave their schools at 2:00 pm (time subject to change by school, see Facebook Event for Details) and walk down to the University of Washington's Red Square. Students from Nathan Hale, Roosevelt, Garfield, and Ballard are encouraged to attend, but anyone is invited to come protest at the U.

SWaC is also hosting an educational meeting at Garfield High School. This 'teach-in' will have speakers such as James Bible, head of the Washington Chapter of the NAACP. The event will have refreshments, and will be preceded by a letter writing event where you will be encouraged to write letters to your State Legislators. This meeting is on Monday, December 12th from 3:30 to 5:30. While this is a student oriented event, parents are welcome to come as well.

On the topic of letters, SWaC is sponsoring a few events at local high schools specifically for the purpose of writing letters to Legislators. Nathan Hale High School is hosting an event starting at 3:00. Ballard High School is hosting an event from 2:30 to 4:00. Both of these events are being held at their respective schools' commons.

Every one of these events will be an amazing time for students to get involved in the democratic process. Everyone is encouraged to attend, so please feel free to show up at any of these events!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

How To Write a Political Letter

One great thing you can do to influence the outcome of this budget-cutting special session is writing to your legislators. Remember, they represent you, so your opinion counts. Here is how to do it in a few easy steps.

1) Find your legislators

  • Enter your address into this tool to find out who is representing you.

  • There will be a link to each official with an email address, a district office, and an Olympia office.

2) State your case

  • Keep it short, simple, and personal. Explain both why you feel cutting education funding is detrimental to everyone, and how it will affect you as an individual. Mention that you are a student, and talk about what the cuts will mean to your school. Here is a template to start with, but remember to make it as personal as you can. Tell your story.

Dear Representative __________,

I am a student at ____________, and I am deeply concerned about the proposed budget cuts to education. Budget cuts would really hurt my school in that ____________, and the quality of my education would be affected because ____________. Please remember that education is the paramount duty of the state. My future is our future; don’t let it be sacrificed.

Thank you,

3) Send it in

  • Keep in mind, a hand written letter often means more than an email, because it means you committed more time to it.Of course, an email is still great, so if you don’t have time, envelopes, pens, or postage, email away. One great resource for emailing is this website ran by the Washington State PTA - great if you only have a minute to spare.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mission Statement

SWaC (Students of Washington for Change) is a student-run movement in Washington State devoted to raising awareness about and taking action on students’ rights issues. Our main focus is ensuring quality state-funded public education at the K-12 and university level. We are committed to effecting change through non-violent and legal methods, and are unconnected to any other organizations, movements, or administrations. SWaC gives students the opportunity to have their voices heard in issues that affect them directly. United, we will not be ignored any longer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Open Letter to the People of Washington State

To Whom It May Concern:

            At today’s student walkout from Garfield, we demonstrated that this state’s students care about their education, and are not afraid to advocate for it. A diverse crowd of hundreds, which included students who attend schools other than Garfield arrived at City Hall and made its demands to the state legislature. We have been described as nothing but peaceful and well behaved, garnering positive attention from multiple media sources and demonstrating the power of an active body of students.

            In response to this outpouring of support for what may be one of the most pressing issues of our time, the organizers of this march are creating a new student advocacy and protest movement known as Students of Washington for Change, or SWaC. We are not affiliated with the occupy movement, we are only students looking out for other students.

For the present, we will continue our focus on preventing cuts to educational programs across the state. We will ensure that a quality education is guaranteed to every student in Washington State. We also hope that this organization will expand beyond Garfield and the Seattle Public Schools. We want this to be a state wide student movement

For the future, we hope that this organization will persist as a group to advocate for student interests, and when need be, protest to support the issues.

For more information we direct you to our website
We will also be posting about budget issues from our twitter @FundtheFutureWA
Please direct all questions to our email

Thank you, and please continue your support of student issues.

Students of Washington for Change

GHS Walk Out - Press Release

We are Garfield High School students, speaking on behalf of and with Seattle Public Schools students tired of the constant cuts to our education. We are the people who have been affected most by these cuts, and we are showing that we care. For too long, this state's budget has been balanced on the backs of its students. Apparently, our representatives in Olympia have forgotten that the constitution says that funding education is this state's paramount duty. This is a student voice reminding our legislature of that fact. And also of this one: We are this country's future. We will vote. And we will hold them accountable.

We will walk out of Garfield High School on Wednesday the 30th of November at 12:30 PM to march to City Hall and tell the world that we are fed up with the lack of funding for education.

We have two primary goals we hope to accomplish:
- We want to stop the constant cuts to education that have hurt our school and other schools in the state.
- We want to insert a student voice into the political discourse in issues regarding education.

Following are our grievances, things that have already happened as a result of past cuts:
- Students who want full schedules have been denied them due to a lack of teachers. Many seniors were denied a science class due to a complete lack of state science funding.
- Academic courses, such as math classes, have been repeatedly cut from our school.
- The removal of summer school and night school has removed resources that allowed many students to graduate on time, therefore effectively increasing the amount the state must spend on those students.

Join the movement, spread the word, get active.