charter school bullying

It’s time to get progressive about education

Originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Requis Sherby’s recent Inquirer op-ed about escaping public school bullying as a nonbinary and bisexual student resonates with me. I was bullied, too, albeit for different reasons. My bullies were verbally and physically abusive, and it got so bad my father pulled me out in the middle of the academic year and enrolled me in a new school.

Like me, Sherby had a choice. Now enrolled at a charter school, Sherby feels safe. Thriving academically and socially, Sherby wrote, “I’m … in a place where I am seen and heard.” Both of us were lucky. I wish the same could be said for the 40,000 children currently stuck on charter school waiting lists in the Philadelphia area. I wonder how many of them are facing relentless bullying, too?

Feeling safe and supported at your school shouldn’t be a matter of luck. It should be mandatory as part of our nation’s social contract to educate all children. On this, we can all agree. Why then are progressives, who fashion themselves the arbiters of protecting people like Sherby and other vulnerable children, so against education policies that allow state money to fund the child, rather than the system?

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer