Community-based School Opens in Detroit by Grace Lee Boggs


Community-based School Opens in Detroit

by Grace Lee Boggs

May 25 – June 1 2013

BEC_logo_2I never planned to be a school teacher or to be engaged in a life-long struggle for a paradigm shift in education.

But fifty years ago, when I needed a job and Detroit inner city schools needed teachers, I became a “resource teacher.”

That was when I discovered that “education” today is a form of child abuse because instead of encouraging and supporting the natural desire of children to participate in solving the problems around them, the role of the teacher and the curriculum is to control and suppress these feelings.

That is why I am happy to announce that this fall a new community-based public charter school, will open on the east side. The school has been developed by Detroit Summer and Freedom School alumnae and has been named the James and Grace Lee Boggs School.

The Boggs school will not only provide a positive model for new community-based education, it will call attention to the responsibility of today’s schools for the atrocity that there are currently two million mostly black and Hispanic men incarcerated in our country’s prisons. Michelle Alexander has called it “The New Jim Crow.”

This “New Jim Crow” means that there are millions of children living without fathers. Millions of women living without partners. Millions of communities with few able-bodied men.

This New Jim Crow is not an accident. It is the product of an educational system that sorts, tracks, suspends and expels students, boring and dropping them out into a society where there are no useful options or work for them.

Through creating Detroit Summer in 1992, we discovered how passionately young people want and need to contribute to the well-being of their communities, to be part of community solutions.

That is why we need a new model of education and that is why parents and concerned citizens need to enroll their children at the new school.

You can register children to attend the Boggs School at the Family Fun Day, Sunday, May 26, from 2-4pm at 231 E. Grand Blvd. You can also apply for openings in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade by visiting the website: or contacting Julia Putnam at or calling 313-655-2665.


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