Zine: A Students’ Guide to Taking Back the Classroom

Two years ago, right after The Case Against Homework was published, I heard from Dylan Baird, then a 16-year-old junior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was writing an article on homework for his school newspaper.

Now, Dylan and two friends, Breton Sheridan and Tom Stokes, have published a zine, “A Students’ Guide to Taking Back the Classroom”, which outlines the positive effects of increased student autonomy. The purpose of the zine is “not only to educate, but to call for cooperation between students and teachers in order to create a new classroom culture of respect, autonomy, and motivation.”

Please take the time to read the zine. The research and writing is impressive; the call to action should be responded to.

One of the criticisms always leveled at students who don’t want to do homework is that they’re “lazy” and headed for a life of drudgery at a low-paying job. Of course, these criticisms are baseless. In fact, many of the students I hear from are self-motivated, highly articulate, well-read, and passionate. Dylan, Breton, and Tom are shining examples.

In case you’re wondering where they are now, this is what they told me: “Breton Sheridan, age 18, is enrolled at Temple University and is pursuing his interest in education both radically, though current zine projects, and more conventionally, as he looks into a 5 year teaching program at Temple. Tom Stokes, age 18, is currently a freshman at Yale University and is pursing his love for art, as well as enjoying the diverse class options at Yale. Dylan Baird, age 18, recently returned from an 11 week road trip around the country and has now committed full time to working on various student empowerment projects.”

Let them know what you think of their zine at: structureproject@gmail.com. And, they would be thrilled if you distribute their zine wherever you can.


4 thoughts on “Zine: A Students’ Guide to Taking Back the Classroom

  1. When I would see my 11 yr old stepson up until 11pm doing homework, I thought this is crazy…what are we paying teachers for?…..


  2. The homework getter at my children’s school is that homework is for a grade. I was even told that my sons fourth grade teacher said homework was graded if you did it, not whether it was done correctly. Am I having trouble with him in math. My 7th grader has had projects to do during her Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; I thought this was to be a break for them not just the teachers. And my 1st grader has a reading log which I hate. I have read to my children every night since they were born; now reading is a chore not a pleasure. And our principle used to teach middle school and thrived on giving homework over the weekend and it still continues. Will the kids ever get a break!!!!!!!!!!


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