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Since December, I have been carefully following the story of the students of the Liceo Tasso in Rome who occupied the school for a few days as a sign of protest. After days of assemblies, meetings and debates, despite the understandable opposition of the management, they decided to “occupy”, well aware that they would pay the consequences (report, 5 in conduct, 10 days of suspension… not to mention the truncheons near the Pantheon for an unauthorized student demonstration…). The mere term “occupation” recalls youthful memories full of emotions, when injustices appeared intolerable and collective protest, participation, the urgency of contributing to change were an irrepressible need. The teachers called me “the lawyer of lost causes”, because I always put my face to it even when I did colossal bullshit. In reality, in the collective dimension I seemed to find a profound meaning to my being a student but above all it made me feel “part” of something, of a feeling that dragged many of my classmates, a need to be there and to be considered, as if to say: hey adults look at us, we are here, we think, we have something to say….

It may be nostalgia, the irresistible call of adolescent memories, it may be that deep down I still try to carry that “rebel” girl inside me, but also as a teacher. I just can’t help but sympathize with the Tasso guys. In my opinion, in fact, the point is not whether the occupation is right or wrong, whether it is a legitimate form of protest or not, but why are the students protesting? What do they want to tell us? What are they asking us?

In the press releases of the student collective, the need for a school closer to the real human and learning needs of students emerges… there is talk of relationships, of “effective sex” education, “help desk for psychological consultancy”. discussion on the issues of immigration, globalization, the environment…

Yet the institutional response seems to have been only that of “repression” (the idea of ​​the police attacking young people truly horrifies me!), as if the adult world was unable to bear “lèse majesté” or worse was still unable to understand the meaning of the protest. But we really think that an education flattened on the corporate model, concentrated on the disquieting mission of producing high-performing individuals, who must build skills that can immediately be “spendable” on the job market and who to this end must be guided, directed, “oriented” right from the start. childhood is acceptable? And why on earth shouldn’t these kids protest?

In their battles I see a lot of courage, the courage and beauty of knowing how to say No, the courage and beauty of not passively “accepting” the ugly that is proposed to them… the courage of not believing that things necessarily have to go this way …the beauty of seeking change and choosing to do it together…

Sara Lazzaro


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