• It's Our School Too: Youth Activism as Educational Reform, 1951-1979

      Cutler, William W.; Woyshner, Christine A.; Graham, Gael, 1958-; Ferman, Barbara; Caldwell, Corrinne A. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Activism has the potential for reform (Howard, 1976). Unlike previous studies on high school activism this study places a primary focus on underground newspapers and argues that underground newspapers allowed high school students to function as activists as well as educational reformers. In order to make this argument, this study examined over 150 underground newspapers and other primary source publications. The goals and tactics of high school activists evolved from the 1950s to the 1970s. During this time there were some shifts in ideologies, strategies, and priorities that were influenced by both an ever increasing student frustration with school leaders and by outside historical events. Underground newspapers captured the shift that occurred in the objectives and tactics of student activists. As a result, the contents of underground newspapers were the primary focus of this study. My study reveals that there were three types of student activists: "incidental" activists who simply wanted to change individual school policies, "intentional" activists who wanted high school students to have greater authority and autonomy in schools, and lastly, "radical" activists who desired an end to oppression of people based on race, class, sex, and age. The evidence overwhelmingly indicates that for the most part incidental, intentional, and radical student activists were all working towards improving their high schools. This common goal was pivotal in the development of a Youth Empowerment social movement, which would be born out of the actions of all three types of high school activists. . Incidental activists were the focal point of attention for school administrators in the 1950s, however; intentional and radical activists would take center stage by the late 1960s. Throughout the 1970s intentional and radical activists would overshadow incidental activists and dominate the high school activism scene.