I spent the past two hours listening to the Oakland, California, school board meeting, where the board is going to decide whether to close a large number of public schools.

The first group of speakers who addressed the board on their Zoom was students. Some were as young as first grade; others were in middle school or high school. Every single one of them pleaded with the board not to close their school. They talked about how much they loved their school and their teachers. They talked about how much they are learning. They talked about their friends and their community. They spoke passionately about their devotion to their school.

It would take a heart of stone not to be moved by the student voices. The board gave them an hour to speak, then extended it by another half hour.

Not a single student said “Please close my school.”

Every student, every single one, pleaded with the board to keep their school open.

Will the board listen?

You can watch here: