Obama students visit PPS board meeting; decry budget cuts


Mr. Reid’s ninth grade class has met with Ms. Har from YMPA (Youth Media Advocacy Project) every Thursday since the beginning of the year. Every Thursday, we discussed specific topics that we were passionate about changing (school lunches, need of upgraded technology, ect.).

Each period has changed in their topic. Period six is starting a food council so that our school’s lunches can improve their quality. First period made two billboards (one in Harrisburg and one in Oakland) that say, “Cutting our budget is cutting our future”.

On March 19, 2012, Mr. Reid gave his students the opportunity to speak at the Board of Education’s public speaking. There, we had a chance to speak for exactly three minutes about a topic that we feel passionate about. About twenty of his students went and all of them who spoke, talked about budget cuts. Our message was: DON’T LIMIT OUR EDUCATION WITH BUDGET CUTS!

I personally was one of the speakers. I was number thirty-three. I remember being so nervous my hands and legs were shaking. A lot of people showed up that evening, and I was supposed to voice my opinion to them all. That’s every teenagers dream, but in reality it turned into a kind of scary one. Once they called my name, I went up and smiled at the important people sitting at their big table, and sat in the chair. Then I turned on the microphone and started talking. I let the words come out, and took a dramatic pause to look at my audience in their eyes and I said, “This will destroy the future of our state”. I think they really felt the emotion in my speech.

Molly Newell spoke about budget cuts as well and she even commented on the poor technology that we are given. She said that we need new computers and software. Molly said, “The Pittsburgh Public School’s motto is ‘Excellence for all’, yet how can we excel with inferior technology?”

Joel Akrie, who went to speak on behalf of Sabria Mitchell, said “It was actually calmer and cooler than I thought it would be”.