you're reading...
Blog Campaign, Guest Posts, Leadership and Activism, Learning at its Best, Student Voices

Occupy High: A Protest of Education Funding Cuts (Guest Post by Kalila Bohsali)

Everyone has heard about the Occupy Wall St. movement and its spread to involve most major cities and small towns of the U.S. All of this talk about revolution and corporate take down has stirred the hearts of activists internationally, sparking the hearts of thousands of people, but what does it have to do with education? What has the Occupy movement said about our education besides asking for college to be free? It is time that education joins the occupy movement and for these institutions we call “school” to  be radically changed.

There is one question we can all ask ourselves; How important is education to you?

It’s something we all experience during our lives, and your schooling, whether you liked it or not, is something that has shaped the person you are today. It’s a tool of change and it has turned into a challenge of endurance. Knowing that you have to wake up every day and drag yourself to a fluorescent-lighted building to sit awake through the same monotonous schedule day after day. Go home and force yourself to do the allotted homework, go to sleep and awake to do the whole thing over again, five days a week is a mental climb of perseverance.

School should be a place of self-realization and learning, not a place of struggle. It should be self motivated and specifically tailored to fit the students’ needs. It shouldn’t be boring or impossible to keep up with, it should be stimulating. It should have classes that you have to push to keep up with and others that are enjoyable and fun.

With the continual budget cuts imposed by governors and politicians nationwide, schools are going to have to continue to cut the programs that really matter to us students: the classes and electives we enjoy and that help produce our intellectual, artistic growth; the classes that actually prepare us for our lives.

It’s time that we show the people who make laws about our education that we take it more seriously. That’s why we, as high school students, are fed up with the current educational regime. We’ve decided to take a stand and show that we truly care about our education and where it takes us.

Occupy High is a movement we have created to illustrate this. It’s a voluntary Saturday school/ study hall to show the people in charge of our future, to take our needs and our voices into consideration. It involves classes taught by experts ranging from photographer to poets to chefs, that are open to all ages. as well as a class every week taught by a fellow student of Vista Grande. It will be place to catch up on school-work. A place where the student can become the teacher and community can come together to learn from each other every Saturday.

We are standing up for what we believe is important in our lives and we encourage schools nation-wide to follow suit. Like our page on Facebook and tell us what you feel about our movement. All suggestions are welcome and all support helps, no matter how small.


Kalila Bohsali is a 16 year old student who believes in independent, project based education and learning through creativity. She hopes to one day be an environmental lawyer but for now is excited to be participating in S.A.L.T. (Student Activist Leadership Team) and Occupy High at Vista Grande High School in Taos, NM.


5 thoughts on “Occupy High: A Protest of Education Funding Cuts (Guest Post by Kalila Bohsali)

  1. Bravo Occupy High! What a wonderful, creative choice you have made. This is just the voice of young people that adults need to hear. You are making a stand for the quality of your own education. You are speaking out on an issue that has long ignored you or completely discounted you.

    In the work that we are doing at Imagining Learning, young people are telling us the same things that you are writing here. You are not alone! Your wisdom and your creativity and energy is key to awakening the movement we need in education. We hope to meet you one day and say thank you for being so courageous and vocal. Don’t let up. Think the Unthinkable. You never know what might happen.

    Posted by charles kouns | February 19, 2012, 2:05 pm
  2. Kalila, In support of Occupy High, and all student-led activism to radically transform this thing we call schooling, to be about learning and living a meaningful life. I am proud of you and your brother and sister students. Kick ass and keep making trouble. A lot of trouble.


    Posted by Kirsten Olson | February 19, 2012, 2:29 pm
  3. I believe wholeheartedly in what you’re saying. Students’ curiosity should dictate their educational paths, rather than having state or federal frameworks dictate their learning. Our current education system functions under a “banking” model (see Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire) that deposits information into passive learners. It requires learners to be passive. You speak eloquently of a problematicized model that involves you planning your own purposeful model that is meaningful and relevant to your needs as a human being. Education should involve teachers and students working together to solve problems. This is the essence of education and literacy. It is not the acquisition of meaningless facts in stuffy classrooms within systems that function as their own little totalitarian regimes. Rather, education IS a more democratic process of, as you said, self-discovery and exploration. You speak of the form I liberating education that is necessary for the existence of an open society— for democracy. Stay strong in your efforts. Occupy your education. If it is not sufficient educate yourself and others, which you are doing. May I recommend the writings of Paulo Freire to you, for information regarding grassroots, community, and revolutionary education. Education does deeply affect it’s recipients. It is currently rendering generations powerless, and that is great cause for resistance. If I can assist you in any way contact me at on twitter: @educatedtodeath and visit .

    Here’s to you and your compatriots.

    Posted by educatedtodeath | February 19, 2012, 5:02 pm
  4. Kalila, Occupy the dickens out of your school, and later on, your life!

    Posted by Brent Snavely | February 22, 2012, 8:14 am


  1. Pingback: The Future of Our Education as Illustrated from the Tucson Book Ban (Guest Post by Youth Leader Kalila Bohsali) « Cooperative Catalyst - March 31, 2012

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,099 other followers

Comments are subject to moderation.

%d bloggers like this: