From my list on student activism.
Who am I?
I’m a historian at the University of Pennsylvania and an op-ed writer for numerous publications. I’m also a former Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher. I’ve spent my adult life studying the ways that human beings imagine education, across space and time. Schools make citizens, but citizens also make schools. And we’re all different, so we disagree—inevitably and often profoundly—about the meaning and purpose of “school” itself. In a diverse nation, what should kids learn? And who should decide that? There are no single “right” answers, of course. I’m eager to hear yours.
Jonathan's book list on student activism
Why did Jonathan love this book?
Talk about a badass. In 1956, 16-year-old Ellery Schempp protested his school’s mandatory prayer and Bible-reading period by reading silently from the Koran. He was kicked out of class and sued his school district, insisting that the First Amendment barred it from promoting a particular religious creed. Eventually, in Abington v. Schempp, the Supreme Court agreed. But along the way, kids called Schempp and his family “Commies” (it was the 1950s, remember) and his principal tried to get Tufts University to rescind its admission offer to him. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court permitted a football coach and devout Christian to pray on the field after games. It’s worth asking what would have happened if—like Schempp—the coach was reciting a Muslim prayer instead.