Column: Albany High Seniors Occupy Campus; Protest Unfair, Oppressive Policies

The Albany High School Class of 2012 has some parting words to share on graduation day. Albany High senior Nir Maoz submitted this statement, on behalf of the class, to Albany Patch.

The Class of 2012 today seized the main school building, and vowing to occupy the facility until its demands are met.

Said Principal Ted Barone: "You are all suspended, ."

The protest began with a takeover of the school’s atrium at 6 a.m. and will continue until the demands detailed below are met.

“Since our earliest memories in history class, we’ve been taught to challenge the status quo. Rather than accepting the social norm, we’ve been encouraged to actively protest injustice, raise awareness, and bring about beneficial change for the whole,” said Pike Goldschmidt, demonstration coordinator.

“In addition, the inspiring accounts of great educators such as Frank Brown, Bob Pressnal, Phil Wanlin, and David DeHart have made it clear that protesting is not just a fundamental human right, but is an Albany birthright,” Goldschmidt continued.

First among the Class of 2012’s demands is immediate rescission of the implemented by the Albany High School administration in February of this year.

The policy has been a ridiculous solution to a nonexistent problem and another example of, as another social studies teacher put it, “a lack of soul in our quest for excellence.”

We, the students, as a whole, have always prioritized our education and we collectively feel that the administration’s new approach is severely inhibiting our academic opportunities. We protest in hope that the policy will be changed so future generations that will come after us will be able to thrive and excel academically.

In addition, we demand the following:

  • That our graduation gown colors will be changed to metallic gold and metallic silver; we refuse to wear the colors of our oppressor. 
  • Youtube to be unblocked, so that our minds can be free to explore and expand with the new age of technology.
  • The return of Gatorade and Coca Cola beverages to on-campus vending machines.
  • To be given Indigenous People’s and Malcom X days off to raise social awareness in our community.
  • The right to freak at dances; we need to have the ability to express ourselves.
  • To allow students to hold bake sales during lunch to increase variety in our palate.
  • The hiring of at least one conservative teacher.   

Except for the following events, the Class of 2012 will occupy the Albany High campus until its demands are met:

  • Graduation rehearsal. From 9:15 a.m. sharp until 11 a.m. We want to stand up and sit down with more precision than 2011.
  • Graduation. Seniors assemble alphabetically. That’s from English class, remember?
  • Dinner or other celebrations with family and friends. Need sustenance for the long protest ahead.
  • Grad Night. Midnight to 5 a.m at Albany Bowl.
  • The weekend
  • The school’s official closing, approximately two weeks after the final day of the school year. 

We demand to meet with the following people to discuss these changes for the benefits of the entire student body and the greater Albany community:

  • Ron Rosenbaum
  • Alan Maris
  • Ted Barone
  • Marla Stephenson
  • Felix Yoon
  • Chief Mike McQuiston
  • Mary & Joe
  • Doug Kagawa
  • David DeHart
  • Terry Georgeson

Albany Patch welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor via albany@patch.com.

Eric Bordax June 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
It's rather arrogant of you to assume we are all right wingers, but unfortunately not at all surprising. Congratulations on being utterly predictable. Keep it up!
Tiffany Lefour June 09, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Way to go class of 2012! You make me proud to have been an AHS parent, and the teachers and staff should be proud to have given you (or at least supported you in) such a well rounded education! Congrats on a most unique and well played prank.
Paul D June 09, 2012 at 08:05 PM
But of course Eric I wasn't talking about you, only those other humorless people.
Allan Maris June 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM
It would be a great adventure to speak with the AHS students who occupied our community with fresh challenges. Thanks for the invitation, and I hope some of those people on Jack's list will also participate. Tha graduation ceremony last night was filled with inspiring speeches by students and the guy in the black hat who conversed with Barak Obama.


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