Scott Walker's Anti-Union Bill Prompts Wisc. Student Walkouts

UPDATE: All during Friday, Facebook groups and Twitter users have been urging students to rally in support of teachers and public education in Wisconsin.

By 5:15 p.m. ET, reported that students from 19 states participated in the Wisconsin Solidarity School Walkout; some students plan to continue student activism into next week.

The citizen journalism news blog, The UpTake, is currently hosting streams from today's events.


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Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker's bill to end collective bargaining for public employees passed the state senate on Wednesday. In reaction, Wisconsin high school students are planning a nationwide walkout in order to send a unified message in support of public education.

A Facebook event labeled Nationwide Student Walkout already has more than 5,000 people "attending." The group asks for the nationwide walkout to happen this Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. local time.

Started by statewide coalition Wisconsin Students in Solidarity, the group states their goals are "outreach, education and action." An open letter signed by Sheboygan's Asher Heimermann and Madison East High School senior Jesse Banks lists the three reasons students feel compelled to act:

1. That a strong public education system is not only our right as young people, but is vital to the success of the democratic process.
2. That the reforms proposed by Governor Walker and Republicans in the state government are an outright attack on the solvency and quality of the education system.
3. That the importance of balancing the state budget should not outweigh the importance of the programs that the state provides.

Students hope this grassroots effort will not only bring attention to events in Wisconsin, but create a forum to discuss "the future of public education as a whole," explains the letter.

For more information on how to get involved and photos from this week's demonstrations in Wisconsin, visit Facebook.