Russell Simmons Calls For Boycott Of New York Public Schools June 4th

Russell Simmons

& The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network are calling for students, parents and

teachers in NY to boycott public schools June 4th. The protest is a result of

Mayor Bloomberg's education cuts, which will cut over a half billion dollars

from the school systems budget. Bloomberg is seeking a way to ease the city's

$5 billion dollar deficit.

School officials said that in addition to losing

teaching aides and assistant principals, the cuts could result in the loss of

guidance counselors and crisis prevention units. The could also effect after-school

programs, weekend programs and other extracurricular activities. "Bloomberg

has cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the educational system and yet

they are spending more money on building prisons," Simmons told

Simmons was referring to a $64.6 million dollar

package Bloomberg authorized to build 200 new jail cells at youth prisons in

the state of New York. According to the Correctional Association of New York,

the construction of the new cells is based on the Department of Juvenile Justice

studies. The studies project youth crime will rise in the coming years, despite

the fact that youth crime has dropped over 30 percent since the mid 90's. In

addition to the drop, the youth prisons were not at capacity as of December

of last year.

The plight of the schools caught Simmons attention

when "Sex In The City" star Cynthia Nixon was continuously arrested,

protesting the budget cuts. Her daughter Samantha attends New York public schools.

"When I read of the budget cuts, I made it The Hip-Hop Summit Action's

number one cause," Simmons continued. "I am serious. We want to shut

down the city. Students, parents, teachers, do not go to school June 4th, go

to City Hall."

Simmons and The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

are planning a rally on City Hall June 4th. Former head of NAACP and one of

the organizers of the Million Man March Minister Benjamin Muhammad will help

organize the protest. Muhummad is also head of Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action

Network. "We want to show the city we will not stand for this bullshit.

They need to prioritize education," said Simmons.