Wisconsin’s Top Education Official Endorses Radical Student ‘Bill of Rights’

Kyle Olson

12/8/2012 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson
When students are pondering a “bill of rights” for themselves, one might expect to see a vending machine in the cafeteria or a longer lunch hour on the list of demands. You know, kids stuff.

But students affiliated with Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) are apparently concerned about collective bargaining for their teachers. And their “Bill of Rights” reads more like a list of demand that might be put forth by a labor union.

For whatever reason, Wisconsin State superintendent Tony Evers recently called the document “reasonable” and “well thought out.”

EAGnews has produced a new video which sheds a little more light on the controversial student “Bill of Rights.”


Among the more outrageous demands in the Bill of Rights (and presumably approved by Evers) are:

• Students have a right to a school environment where all teachers and staff have the right to collectively bargain.

• Students have the right to a focused and peaceful environment through mutual respect between teachers and students. This should translate into equal power dynamics in the classroom…

• Students who are in the process of learning English deserve access to their school’s curriculum with support in their native language.

• Schools must document the demographics of students who are reprimanded by police in school, suspended, or expelled, in order to track and protect against racial profiling.

• Students have the right to beneficial activities aimed at improving their self-esteem, physical well-being and overall person.

• Students who have plans to enter the work force should be provided with worker rights orientation…

It just so happens that YES! is led by several Wisconsin high school teachers with radical left-wing backgrounds. Chances are this document was produced through a lot of suggestions from them.

Why else would students even address collective bargaining privileges for teachers? That’s a union issue, in a state where the legislature recently curtailed collective bargaining activities in schools.

In any case, Students are free to produce whatever nutty, demanding or impractical “Bill of Rights” they choose. But state leaders should be cautious about giving credibility to such demands, unless, of course, they’re interested in putting the full weight of the state government into actually enacting them.

We just wonder, with Evers’ endorsement, whether other radical teachers will use other students to produce and demand attention for similar documents in the future.