The Shameless blog editor received this letter/call-out from a long-time fan, and is reposting with permission.
My name is Lex Gill, and I actually sat on Shameless‘ first-ever teen advisory board, and was there for its first-ever launch party. I’m genuinely glad to see it’s still alive, sassy and kickin’ ass.
I’m now a Montreal activist and organizer and am trying to take ten seconds out of my day job at the Concordia Student Union (yeah … nothing new and exciting happening with Quebec student unions lately, right?) to do a favour for my former high school, and I thought you could help.
I was wondering if you’d consider sharing this on the Shameless blog, given that it’s precisely young, badass high school aged women that can solve this problem:
The Student School is a radical public alternative high school in west end Toronto. You can read about them at thestudentschool.org. The year I was there, I took classes on women and gender studies, imperialism and protest, and economics as if people mattered. The incredible community and fantastic teachers I had the blessing to work with were probably the only reason I survived high school.
Not only do I think Shameless readers should generally know that this place exists and consider signing up for the Fall semester (especially for those less-than-enchanted with their current high school experience) but TSS needs enrolment now more than ever to stay alive.
The School Board is trying to cut one teacher out of eight, which could be a huge blow to the community, especially because it opens the door to further funding cuts and puts the school in a position where it has to consider offering less courses. Not only would this massively suck for the excellent, engaged, brilliant students already there, but for all the future young troublemakers yet to come. More students = more teachers.
Pros: it’s public, you get to read Malcolm X in class, sometimes there’s a community garden, you attend bi-weekly general assemblies where you can out-vote your teachers, profound and student-led social justice organizing abound, free breakfast, you can be openly queer and nobody cares, you get to call teachers by their first name, well-done graffiti is sanctioned and celebrated, you’ll do more exciting academic work than most university students do, and you’ll make friends that you’ll probably know for the rest of your life.
Cons: if I recall correctly, there are a lot of stairs. [note: the school is accessible!]
In short, check it out. And while you’re at it, look at the cool stuff students are doing here to save their school.
In solidarity, Lex