Letter to the editor: An invitation to stand for what you believe

Joshua Farmer

Dear Students of Appalachian,

In recent months, North Carolina has taken a turn for the worst.

Narrow-minded politicians have destroyed our public education system. They have increased funds for private schools, limited public protest, privatized city and county resources, constrained political participation, harmed the poor, repealed the Racial Justice
Act, lessened women’s choice, and the list goes on.

Doesn’t this sound like something that happened decades ago? Sadly, it isn’t. This is our 2013 N.C. legislature at work.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We can no longer accept this failure of leadership. We can no longer remain silent about things that matter. It’s time to wake up.

As students, what should matter is a quality education. Unfortunately, our state leaders continue to under fund our public schools and are slowly working toward privatizing education. These actions by our “leaders” contradict our fundamental right to education.

Our state has, reduced targeted education funding by $129 million, given $50 million dollars in vouchers to private schools, eliminated more than 9,000 education positions, refused pay increases for educators and eliminated class size restrictions.

Instead of cutting public education budgets, our state should be working to help increase funding to provide students with a high-quality education.

We can no longer sit idly by as injustices become institutionalized daily. If you claim to value freedom, fight for it. If you believe in equality for all people, stand for it. If you believe in justice, demand it.

We must recognize our place in history because the time to act is now. If we wait any longer, our state will continue to erode public education, our democracy and more.

Wake up Appalachian, and stand up for freedom, equality and justice. The future of our state depends on you. Do not be complicit in the crime of destroying North Carolina.

This is your chance. What will you do? Stand by and do nothing or stand for what you believe?

Join us Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Schaefer Center for Performing Arts as the Rev. William Barber II, leader of the North Carolina NAACP and Moral Mondays, gives a speech titled “The Necessity of a Moral Movement in North Carolina and the Nation.”

Learn what you can do to make a difference and how to stand for justice.

Written by: JOHN FORTENBERRY, non-degree seeking student and AMANDA MOORE, senior global studies and public relations major