Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

“They Are Fighting for Us”: Minneapolis Student in Solidarity With Striking Teachers

A sophomore at South High School gave the following speech Thursday morning at a student action in solidarity with the Minneapolis educator’s strike.

Jane Rohlfing

March 19, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Photo by Luigi Morris

A sophomore at South High School gave the following speech Thursday morning at a student action in solidarity with the Minneapolis educator’s strike. This was the second student action organized in support of the educators. Over 100 students showed up early to the Davis Center where contract negotiations were being held,  demanding to speak to the superintendent of schools, Ed Graff. While they were waiting, Jane gave the following speech. 

If you are a Minneapolis student, teacher or community member, we would love to hear from you and publish your story. You can contact us at contact@leftvoice.org or message us on social media.

Hi, my name is Jane Rohlfing. I’m a sophomore at South High School, a helper at MFT [Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals]  and the creator of the South High Student Strike Support Committee.

My school, for the last few years, has been hell for so many different reasons.

We just got out of a year-long lock down. My school is just five minutes away from George Floyd square and we are on Lake Street where the riots happened. This has affected all of us greatly. These students, my peers, are struggling and need help.  

Every day I walk into my school and see how tired, stressed, and overworked my teachers are from grading papers all night, dealing with emails, making lesson plans, being with their families, and sometimes working a second job. Being a teacher just isn’t financially dependable anymore, and now they have to deal with students in distress who have nowhere to put that anger and sadness but onto each other. 

Kids need mental health support now more than ever, and shouldn’t have to rely on violence or strained teachers as their only outlet. Instead, we need more social workers helping us, listening to us, and overall just being there for us. One social worker per a thousand kids isn’t sustainable. 

I’ve been seeing these problems in public schools for a while now.When I heard the teachers were going on strike, I knew that it wasn’t only for them and fair pay; it was for me and all my fellow students’ well being. They are fighting for us, so it’s only fair I come out here and fight with them on the line. 

I am baffled by the pettiness Ed Graff and other administrators are showing regarding the teachers’ strike. They are scaring students by threatening to take away our graduation, purposely not informing parents, and blocking informative websites on students’ computers. They want us to stay ignorant, but I refuse. We refuse.  

I am also baffled by how so many people, including Josh Pauly [Minneapolis school board member who recently resigned], claim to have our backs and to have students’ best interest in mind, yet fail to show up and put in the work.

And finally, I am baffled by the amount of money just sitting there in Ed Graff’s pocket, not being spent on my future as if I’m not worth it. How come the next generation gets nothing but scraps? We deserve smaller classes! We deserve more one-on-one time with teachers! We deserve social workers being there for us! And we deserve safe and stable schools!!!! 

Facebook Twitter Share

Guest Posts

Monetary Tightening, Inflation and Bank Failures

Michael Roberts takes on bank failures, inflation and the Fed.

Michael Roberts

March 14, 2023

“We Need to Make a Change”: Trans Youth Speak Out and Walk Out

The following is a speech by a student activist from NYC for Trans Rights.

Alex Carroll

March 10, 2023

Ominous New Attacks on Trans Rights Remind Us…It’s Capitalism

If the viciousness and hostility against trans people and ultimately all LGBT people is today open-carried on the Far Right, it is our dependence on fair-weather liberals and the politicians of the Democratic Party that is our Achilles’ heel.

Ian Scott Horst

February 17, 2023

NATO’s War in Ukraine: Building the Anti-war Movement We Need Requires Clarity

As part of the ongoing debates among socialists on the war in Ukraine, we publish this guest polemic.

Rob Lyons

February 17, 2023


“Lesser Evil” Biden Wants More Border Patrol Than MAGA Republicans

Over the weekend, Biden bragged about his support for even more resources than “MAGA Republicans.” to “secure the border” on Twitter. This is “lesser evilism” in action.

Molly Rosenzweig

March 28, 2023
Customers clear shelves of water Sunday at Fresh Grocer in West Philadelphia.

A Chemical Plant Just Poisoned Philadelphia’s Water: A First-Hand Account of the Crisis

A company dumped thousands of gallons of poisonous chemicals into Philadelphia’s drinking water. This is an on-the-ground account by a Philadelphia worker and socialist.

Jason Koslowski

March 27, 2023
A group of protesters, in the front of whom are a line of protesters wearing red vests. In the front right corner, a white sign reds "vive la retraite," with a skeleton wearing a red hat in the middle of the sign on a black background with a text bubble on its left that reads, "oiv a bosse, c'est pas pour en crever!"

“French March”: The Right to Revolutionary Optimism

Evoking memories of '68, the students enter the fight against Macron. In our chaotic world, the future can only be built in the streets.

Eduardo Castilla

March 26, 2023

Joe Biden Is Deporting Russians Who Escaped Putin’s Draft — Let Them All In!

The United States is deporting Russians who sought asylum following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is a heinous attack against war resisters and shows that the proxy war in Ukraine is about capitalist rivalry first and foremost.

Sam Carliner

March 26, 2023