How can I make my community a “Freedom School”?
The “Freedom Schools” campaign is a complex and powerful strategy. It requires fighting on multiple fronts with multiple tactics, but it can be scaled and sequenced to accommodate action by groups that are big or small and whether your target is city, county, or state government.
At the heart of this strategy, Blue Grizzly volunteers will put pressure on elected officials and local education administrators through targeted grassroots action to urge adoption of the “Freedom Schools” nine “model” policies.
As a volunteer organizer you don’t have to understand all the ins and outs of the legal language to advocate for these policies and rules, though we will publish more reading materials on our site as time goes on. You just need to know that adopting these policies will protect students and families from the worst offenses from the Trump/DeVos administration.
Your city or county may already have adopted some of these policies, but only in rare instances has a community adopted all nine in writing. Your role as a Blue Grizzly will be to gather information on where your elected officials and local education officials stand on each of the nine “model” policies and rules and verify that they are established in writing, AND in practice.
You don’t need to have hosted, or even attended an event to qualify as an organizer. In fact, you don’t have to have ever done anything like this before -- we’ll try to get you all the resources you may need to jumpstart your local campaign. Here’s how you can get started:
First, sign up, and we will connect you with other passionate activists in your area.
If you see that there’s another group in your area, but you’re interested in starting your own group or advocacy campaign -- go for it! We don’t see multiple groups starting a Freedom Schools campaign in their town as a conflict, but rather, as a sign of the intensity of our campaign.
Next, you should have an organizing meeting to decide the strategy and tactics for your local campaign with other activists in your community. At your first event, you can use our sample agenda to get started.
We ask people to immediately set up meetings with their elected school board or community college board officials, but you can also choose another target to focus on. Your city council or county board of commissioners may be the group of elected officials that will need to pass the policies. Your mayor or school superintendent may also be able to issue binding rules. Either way, you should try to be strategic in picking your campaign target. If the school superintendent, for example, has political influence in your community and would prevent your local government from passing the laws or wouldn’t enforce them if they were passed - you may want the superintendent to be your target.
Based on the results of your meeting and further research on your community, decide the campaign target that is best for you.