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Monday, June 15, 2015

She walks the line for equity and jusitce


Day 5, schools are still in session in Connecticut, so there were no walkers with me today. Two and half hours of walking in the rain on my own, check off 51 miles on my walk to DC.    My umbrella and raincoat did not prevent me from becoming cold and drenched to the bone.  I keep humming Michael Row the boat a shore, singing “the river Jordan is chilly and cold, chills the body not the soul.” When you stand on the side of justice your soul never gets cold.  Today’s walk is dedicated my dear friend and tireless soldier of equity in Connecticut Dr. Dianne Kaplan deVries. Dr. Dianne is the Project director for CCJEF, (Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding), and has been helping to lead the battle for equity in our public schools.
CCJEF v. Rell has been in the courts for over a decade now, the final case is pending in the
Connecticut Supreme Court. We are facing that historic question” do children have the right to an adequate education? YES, said the lower courts. Two Connecticut governors representing both political parties have opposed the right of children to an equitable and adequate education. How anyone could vote for any candidate fighting to maintain an inequitable public school system is beyond me.  The state has fought in the courts at every step to kick the case out of our courts. While Dianne and her colleagues for over a decade have travel up, down, and side to side to every corner of Connecticut to gather testimony and evidence for the people against their own state. Connecticut like 48 other states are dens of inequity in their public schools. While corporate education reformers peddle their fuzzy choice without equity scams my dear friend and fellow soldier for equity fights for our day in the courts everyday.  James Baldwin wrote in “The Price of the Ticket”:
If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected--those, precisely, who need the law's protection most! --and listens to their testimony.”
Listening deeply and gathering the testimony of the unprotected has been Dr. Dianne Kaplan deVries life’s work, and that work is going to have it’s day in our supreme court this fall.
This tireless soldier is battling cancer; she no longer is driving our highways. She is using her phone and email to see this fight through. She will see her day in court.
As Dr. King wrote from his cell in a Birmingham jailhouse
“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Some walk, some stand in our nation's classrooms, some testify before boards of power, and their legislative bodies, some write letters to editors, some fight on social media, some take to the streets, some battle in the courts, but we all stand together for equity in our public schools.
Someday these tests will go away, someday the standards will be more pliable, but we soldiers of equity will still be battling for equality in our public schools.
I humbly bow my head,
I salute you,
I whisper your name on the winds of hope,
I call you my sister,
This rain filled day’s walk is dedicated to my hero Dr. Dianne Kaplan deVries.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner


 If you are wondering what this rain soaked walking man was listening to on his walk to was Johnny Cash's "I walk the line" > <

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