Students at New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts staged a sit-in on May 31 to protest against decisions by the school’s administration they believe are taking focus and resources away from arts programs and education.
In a letter to the school’s administration signed by “The Concerned Students of LaGuardia Arts High School,” outlined their frustrations with changes they say they have observed: “This used to be a place where students rapped and played music and danced in the cafeteria; this used to be a place that celebrated self-expression in all of its forms; this used to be a place that prioritized talent, passion, and grit; this used to be a place where students were encouraged to pursue and prioritize their art.
Now, we get kicked out of practice rooms. Almost every show this year has had its rehearsal time drastically cut (this is because the administration refuses to stay late and mishandles permits for us to stay in the building).
We are forced into Advanced Placement classes we don’t want to take so that the school can boast high enrollment statistics.
Rooms that we need for arts classes are being repurposed as testing rooms. Shows, as well as visual art classes, are being censored.
Through their actions, our administration tells us that they no longer value our artistic education.” News reports said that the school’s administration recently changed admissions standards, which previously valued performance audition results over past grades, to prioritize stricter academic qualifications.
Notable alumni include actors, artists and musicians such as Timothee Chalamet, Jennifer Aniston, Al Pacino, Nicki Minaj, Milton Glaser, and Eartha Kitt, among many others.
Credit: @Colette_NYC via Storyful