Facebook is an extremely popular social gathering point for teens. Meanwhile, the explosion of the “Tea Party Movement” – which involved demonstrations largely organized online – has shown the power of Facebook as an organizing tool for protests. When you combine the two, you get the recent statewide student walkout in New Jersey high schools to protest recent funding cuts.
The Newark Star-Ledger reported that students in New Jersey were planning on walking out of class today to protest educational budget cuts proposed by Gov. Chris Christie. The plan was hatched on a Facebook group called “Protest NJ Education Cuts-State Wide School Walk Out” which had almost 15,000 students who had RSVPed for the walkout by early Tuesday morning.
“It’s insane,” said Michelle Ryan Lauto, an 18-year-old college student who spent her high school years in Bergen County and set up the Facebook page. “I mean, I’m very excited.”
Lauto has family members who will be affected by the cuts but said her aim was to show that students were genuinely concerned for the welfare of their schools.
“I think there’s this general stereotype about high schoolers being very apathetic,” she said. “We’re the ones that are going to be affected by this. So we have to show we don’t like what’s being done.”