Student Engagement in School Protests

“Student engagement” isn’t all time-on-task and observable behaviors that are favorable to teacher perceptions on student performance. Instead, student engagement happens anytime students have a sustained connection to learning.

Many educators would like student engagement to reflect the values and objectives of adults in schools. They want students to singularly focus on classroom learning or to show school spirit, and they’re rather satisfied when student are engaged in those ways. I call this “convenient student engagement” since adults can predict, who, how, why, what, and when students will have a connection in schools.

However, sometimes student engagement can be inconvenient too. Two days after school started on Monday, August 13, students in Chicago conducted a sit in at Social Justice High School in Chicago. They were protesting the firing of their principal and several staff members. This is student engagement.

Following is a student-made video.

You can learn more about the school on their official website. Here’s a detail-packed story from the Chicago-based Teachers for Social Justice website a follow-up story from a local education blog. 
Learn more about student-led education activism from SoundOut, and consider bringing us to your school or district to teach teachers, students, support staff, parents, and others about student engagement and much more. 

CommonAction is available to train, speak, and share about this topic and many others. Contact me to talk about the possibilities by emailing or calling (360)489-9680.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker and writer who researches, writes and shares about youth, education, and history. Learn more about me at

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