Monday, November 7, 2011

Please Don't Cut the Arts

Some of you who are high school students or recent graduates probably remember the day last year when thousands of California teachers received pink slips. The majority of the teachers selected for the chopping block were the newest and least experienced (i.e. the younger ones that we could actually relate to). At Oakland Tech, one of the teachers given notice was our beloved advanced drama teacher, Ms. Jessa Berkner. Those of us in her class were stunned. Luckily she did not lose her job and she is still inspiring and educating all of her students.

I made this video in an attempt to capture my fellow classmates' heartfelt and poignantly emotional reactions to the news that the arts programs at our school were facing serious cuts. I am sure that many Up Next teens can relate to the feeling that theater is not merely an extracurricular activity but a lifestyle.

The struggle to remind politicians, school board members and principals of the vital importance of the performing arts in schools is ongoing. Feel free to comment and share your stories.

I am far from a professional videographer. This was shot in a classroom with my phone. Please pardon the irregular sound quality and shaky transitions. Enjoy!

-Saskia Levy-Sheon

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