Thank the D.C. 6 for Taking a Stand for D.C. Scholarship Students

While many eyes today were on Obama’s address to schoolchildren from Arlington, Va., which ended up being a lot less controversial than originally reported, a truly exciting education-related event was happening just a few miles away.

Leading advocates of school choice and opportunity for the neediest kids made a real stand in support of the D.C. 216 who had their private tuition scholarships revoked by the U.S. Department of Education. To make a strong public statement, they went beyond making speeches from a podium or talking to a news reporter. See what I mean:

In a dramatic act of civil disobedience today, six national education leaders blocked the main entrance of the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to protect the endangered Washington, D.C. school voucher program. The protesters refused to leave the premises for nearly an hour, leading to a standoff with police. Apparently on orders from federal officials, no arrests were made.

The individuals blocking entrance to the building were: former Democratic D.C. Councilman Kevin P. Chavous, longtime D.C. education activist and executive director of DC Parents for School Choice Virginia Walden Ford, the Rev. Anthony Motley, Black Alliance for Educational (BAEO) Board Chair Dr. Howard Fuller, BAEO President Gerard Robinson, and education reform leader Darrell Allison.

The protesters–who sought to block the entrance of the Department because “the President and the Secretary have blocked low-income parents from accessing the schools of their parents’ choice”–were cheered on by 50 families and supporters, including Councilman Marion Barry.

The D.C. voucher program is popular among parents of school-aged children and other citizens in the urban community. It has been proven successful. Yet rather than support the program, many political leaders in Congress and the administration have bent to the will of powerful interest groups and left these 216 students (and others) out to dry.

If you are impressed by the D.C. 6 and their act of civil disobedience in support of these students, please send them a personal message.