UPDATE: List of 2012 Student Protests Regarding Education in the U.S.

Originally Posted June 23, 2012

“When students awaken, the national conversation will change.”

– Diane Ravitch, “When Students Awaken

After a week of googling, and searching around Facebook, I think I’ve finally got most them. I have found that over 150 student protests have been held in the United States thus far in 2012. For some reason, I thought this would take me only a couple hours. I thought student protests for education were only taking place in New York and Pennsylvania (since that’s where I usually hear most of them are occurring), but man, was I wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to find these protests are happening in almost every state. All except for Alabama, Arkansas Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If you know otherwise, please let me know, and I’ll add them on.

But why do this? As many of those who have been following me for a while, I am huge advocate for the voices of the students. I strongly believe that our education system should thrive off not only professionals\experienced educators in the education system, but what the students have to say. After all, this is their education.

It is also interesting to see the different issues that students are protesting for. Please keep in mind I tried to keep the focus on protests that focused on issues regarding anything that dealt with education or the school. Aside from the common protests to save teachers, protests against tuition hikes and budget cuts, there are more issues students are concerned about than I originally perceived. One school protested for their dress code, others for longer lunch periods, and some for the right to carry weapons on campus. It’s also important to note that the protests are being held from students as young as elementary school, all the way up to graduate school students.

Now, I am interested in how we can bring all these students together into one huge movement. Individually these voices are making sparks, but if we had a way to bring them all together, we can really make something remarkable happen. Students are waking up, and I don’t think they are going back to sleep soon.

Don’t forget to check out my most recent post: List of 2012 Student Protests Analyzed


Originally found 150 Protests

201 Protests

242 Protests – Kansas & Hawaii finally on the list!

Currently still working on it, will be periodically updating throughout week
Please e-mail me at srrivera92@gmail.com if you know of any I’ve missed!






June 11 – Anchorage – 35-hour protest targets School District cuts




February 22 – Minneapolis South High students protest Arizona law









January 19 – Los Angeles – Students protest budget cuts, proposed fee hikes at UC Riverside

February 7 – Students Protest Miramonte Elementary Staff Shake-Up

February 24 – Students Protest Closing of Charter School

March 1 – Student protests remain calm, focused on budget cuts

March 4 – CSU students walk out

March 5 – Students stage walk-out protest at John Muir High School

March 5 – Students Protest Education Cuts

March 8 – High School Students Protest Proposed Budget Cuts

March 9 – ‘Save Our School!’: Students ‘Hunger Strike’ to Protest Budget Cuts

March 14 – San Francisco Teacher Layoffs: Dozens Stage Protest Outside

March 15 – In Elk Grove, and around state, students protest budget cuts


March 23 – San Diego – Mission Bay High School Students Walk Out Over Pink Slips in Show of Support for Teachers

Mission Bay High School Students Walk Out Over Pink Slips in Show of Support for Teachers

April 2 – San Diego – Students Blow Bubbles to Protest Budget Cuts


April 4 – California Students Pepper-Sprayed While Protesting Tuition Hikes Caused By Budget Cuts

April 13 – Hoover High School teachers, students protest layoffs

April 16 – Fresno’s McLane High School students protest teacher cuts

Fresno's McLane High School students protest teacher cuts

May 1 – Sequoia High School students walk out for May Day protest

May 3 – California State University Students On Hunger Strike, Faculty Vote To Walk Out

May 4 – Maranatha students protest teacher’s departure

May 8 – Los Angeles – Arts high school students walk out to protest proposed budget cuts

Cortines school student protest

May 14 – Calexico Unified students stage walkout to support teachers

Calexico Unified School District office

June 6 – San Diego – Point Loma High School Walkout in support of Laid-Off Teachers

June 8 – Lincoln High School Protest Teacher Layoffs

June 12 –  Del Cerro’s Hearst Elementary School Ends School Year with Protest

June 26 – Students protest teacher’s resignation

July 18 – “Zombie” students protest at U.C. regents meeting in San Francisco

Zombie student protesters

October 26 – Community College Students Protest in”The Walking Debt”

November 8 – UC, Cal State students protest fees, even after Proposition 30 passes

November 13 – San Diego – Students protest student fees outside Board of Trustees meeting 

November 15 – San Francisco –  Students at UC Regents protest tuition hikes





March 8 – University of Colorado students protest rising tuition costs

April 11 – Teachers, students, parents rally for education funding in Colorado

May 11 – University of Colorado students protest looming protest looming debt at commencement





February 28 – Berlin High School Students Sit-In To Support Teachers

March 8  – Student Rally for Safety at Trinity

Student Rally for Safety at Trinity

March 12  – Western Connecticut State University Students Stage Protest After Anti-Gay Hate Messages On Campus

June 11 – Staples high school students protest state’s new teacher-evaluation criteria

Staples High School students gather outside the school's front entrance during a protest of Connecticut's new education reform law, Public Act 12-116. Monday, June 11, 2012/ Westport, CT Photo: Paul Schott / Westport News

June 14  – Staples high school students protest standardized testing law

June 14 – Danbury High students support teacher




March 1 – DSU Students Protest for More African American Students & staff

May 11- Laurel High School Students Protest Teacher Layoffs

May 24 – Hundreds protest student loan debt at Delaware Sallie Mae headquarters




January 27 – University students protest higher tuition

February 28 – Students Protest Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test

March 1 – Tallahassee – National Day of Action for Education Rights

Students for a Democratic Society National Day of Action

March 1 – Tampa – As USF leaders wrestle with budget cuts, students protest outside


March 2 – Students protest valedictorian’s deportation order

March 6 – Education Cuts Spur Student Protests in Florida


March 29 – University of Florida students protest tuition hikes

April 13 – California students protest tuition hike

April 13 – Graduate engineering students protest proposed budget cuts

April 16 – UF students form human chain to protest computer science cuts

April 19 – Faced w/ Tuition Hikes, Students Resist Austerity in Florida

May 1 – Florida Atlantic University Students Protest Budget Cuts

May 15 – Brandon High School students protest teacher layoffs, privatization

Nov 15 – UCF Students Protest Tuition Increase

Nov 20 – Students and parents protest firing of band director

Nov 20 – Hundreds speak out against proposed school closings





February 9 – 200 Students Protest Dallemand’s Macon Miracle Plan

February 28 – Students protest ban on undocumented college students

March 13 – Students protest tuition hikes

March 17 – Parents & Students Protest School Closings

April 4 – Students Protest to Carry Guns on Campus

April 18 – CHS students protest and petition over principal’s reassignment

August 16 – University of Ga. Students Protest Newspaper Changes

August 20 – Augusta State University Students Protest Against Decision To Change School Name

Augusta State Georgia Regents University

Oct 7 =Student protest leadership changes at high school





Nov 16 – Students join Teachers in Protests to take a stand





April 26 – Aberdeen Students Protest Possible Teacher Cuts





February 9 – Bloomington High School students walk out after teacher fired

March 2 – DePaul University students protest proposed tuition hike

April 5 – Chicago – Students protest teacher layoffs at OPRF High School

October 17 – Chicago – Students, community members protest school closings

Nov 2 – Chicago – Protest, arrests over school closings

November 13 – Chicago – Public school teachers, students, parents and activists rally against school closings

Nov 20 – Chicago – Two students, one alum arrested in budget cut protests






April 4 – Students protest teacher layoffs at Oak Park-River Forest High School 

April 12 – IU Students Protest Tuition Hike

May 16 – 60 Students Suspended In Senior Prank Protest

Oct 30 – Students Protest Removal of High School Principal





March 5 – University of Northern Iowa students protest cuts to academic programs

March 26 – Maquoketa Valley Students Skip Classes in Support of Teacher

April 19 – Sixth Graders Write Op-Ed to Protest 10-Minute Lunch Period

Oct 15 – University of Northen Iowa Students Protest Tuition Freeze




Oct 18 – Kansas Students Protest New School Lunch Menu Changes

Nov 5 – Students protest lunches




February 7 – Kentucky State Students Protest State Budget Cuts




March 18 – LSUS students protest merger

March 29 – Student protest at John McDonogh Senior High School against Future is Now (Green Dot / Steven Barr) taking over the school and firing of all the teachers.

April 5th – John McDonogh Senior High School’s Student Government Association protest at the Louisiana State Capitol firing of all the teachers at their school as their school was going to be converted into a charter by the Future is Now.

May 17 – Inside board meeting, students pleaded with board members to not shut down their public high school for the sake of budget cuts

May 21 – N.O. East residents picket outside Ben Franklin High School





April 25 – Rally by OccupyMaine marks skyrocketing student loan debt

May 23 – ‘Occupy Graduation’: Student activists broadcast debt owed with ball and chains





March 1 – Students of Northwestern High School Walk-Out Supporting Increase of teacher pay and quality education

 April 19 – College Park Students Protest Doomsday Budget Cuts To Higher Education

doomsday budget




January 26 – High School Students Protest Absence of Assistant Principal

April 12 – Tufts Occupiers protest student debt with kiss-in

May 6 – New Procedure for Teaching License Draws University of Massachusetts Student-Teacher Protest

Oct 18 – Students Protest Crisis of Student Loan Debt






March 22 – 150-200 students walk out of Flint Northern High School because of heat in building, officials say

March 29 – Detroit high school walkout: Students protest lack of education


April 1 – Detroit students protest missing teachers, easy A’s

April 23 – Madison Heights High School Students Stage Walkout in Support of Teachers

April 25 – Detroit Walkout: High School Students Suspended For Leaving School Start Freedom School

April 27 – Royal Oak Students March in Support of Principal Michael Greening

April 27 – Detroit students walkout against school closures and deteriorating conditions

May 3 – Detroit Students Suspended After Walkout

May 16 – Brandon High School students protest teacher layoffs, privatization

Oct 25 –  Students Protest for Tuition Equality




March 1 – Minnesota students rally for education rights





May 4 – Bailey Students Walk out of Class over Rezoning




February 14 – Students Protest Possible Cuts





May 15 – Students walk out on news of contracts






April 2 – Doane students protest for concealed weapons on campus





May 7 – Parents and Students Protest Teacher Resignations




New Hampshire

April 6 – Students Use Facebook to Rally for Teacher

April 19 – Students Protest School Lunches

May 7 – Chester College Students Rally to Save School




New Jersey

January 31 – Rutgers law students protest merger plan

February 2 – Rutgers-Camden Students Protest Christie’s Plan

Rutgers-Camden rallied today in hopes of sending a message to Gov. Christie that they do not want to merge with Rowan University.

February 16 – Kean students protest governing board’s decision to keep school president


April 4 – Pinelands Regional Students Protest after losing school programs

April 5 – Students Disrupt Meeting, Demand Vote On College Board

April 16-20 – Tent State X: Occupy Rutgers

April 16-20 – Montclair State Students join protest of education costs

A banner blows in the wind in front of the Montclair University student center.

April 17 – Glen Ridge High School students, parents protest teacher’s dismissal

April 27 – Students Occupy Rutgers Admin Building in Sweatshop Protest

May 10 – Hackensack HS Students Walk out to support ousted admins

May 16 – South Orange Middle School Students Protest in Support of 2 Teachers

June 13 – Englewood students protest plan to replace secretaries & teaching assistance w. private staffing firms

Students at Janis E. Dismus Middle School protesting Wednesday morning.

June 13 – Students, Parents Protest District’s Downsized Music Plan

June 15 – Students, Parents Protest Punishments, Support the ‘Funny Five’

June 20 – Long Rutgers board meeting ends with short protest over tuition costs and restructuring plan

July 6 – Students Parents, Staff rally for ousted Englewood school teacher

Parents, children, and marchers rally to show support for Elizabeth Rivera in front of John Grieco Elementary School on June 28. Rivera is a teacher at Quarles school whose contact is not being renewed.

July 18 – Rutgers Students Rally Against Tuition Hikes

July 27 – Students for a Democratic Society protest tuition hikes at MSU

Oct 17 – Rutgers Students, “Tear Up Your Debt” Rally




New Mexico






New York

January 5 – Students, Alumni  protest the school’s high rate of teacher turnover

Current students and alumni of the Bronx High School of Science protested against the school's policies on Thursday.

January 23 – Parents,Teachers, Students Protest M.S. 103 Closure

February 1 – High School students from Legacy High School raise their spirits and energy through song and protest at Union Square

February 3 – Teachers, Students Protest DOE Plan To Cut Staff At Brooklyn

February 7- Lehman High School Walkout

February 13 – Student walkout starts week of “turnaround” protest at Grady

February 16 – Parents, Teachers, Students Protest against New York City school closings

March 1 – SUNY Purchase Students Protest Tuition Hikes

March 2 – SUNY Purchase Students Mourn “Death of Higher Education”

March 2 – Teachers, students rally against standardized testing

March 5 – Hundreds of students, Occupiers protest NY budget 

March 5 – In Albany, Protests Over Tuition Increases Jolt the Capitol

March 6 – Students rally for SUNY, CUNY

College student protest in Albany Monday. Photo: Karen DeWitt.

March 9 – Students defend John Dewey High School from closure in afternoon walk-out

March 9 – Arturo Satellite Academy High School Walkout

March 14 – Averill Park students head to Capitol to protest education cuts

March 14 – Williamson High School Students Protest Budget Cuts

April 6 – Albany – Students protest school budget cuts, funding from Albany

April 6 – Bronx – Students & Parents Call for an End to Controversial Turnaround Model

April 13 – Up At Dawn, Students Protest School Closures 

April 25 – Students Walk Out at Cooper Union

April 26 – Protests continue against New York school closings

April 27 – Students Protest Trillion-Dollar Debt While GOP Plays Politics to Protect the Wealthy

April 29 – Students Protest NYS “Pineapple” Test

May 1 – Brooklyn: High school students walk out

May 2 – Alfred-Almond protest over loss of art teacher time

May 4 – Brooklyn College Students Protest Tuition Hikes

May 4 – Students, teachers protest Onteora music schedule

May 7 – Parents and Students Protest Teacher Resignations

May 14 – CUNY Students Protest Tuition Increases Today for Tomorrow’s Students

Protestor at an Occupy CUNY demonstration, November 21, 2011.

May 23 – NY Students March in Solidarity with Quebec

June 1 – Homeless Youth Advocates Protest New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Proposed 2013 Budget Cuts

Lgbt Homeless Youth Protest

June 5 – New York City high school students speak on school closings

June 7 – New York Standardized Testing Protest Brings Parents, Students To Pearson’s Steps

June 7 – Rally vs. dummy exam by ‘pineapple’ tester

Student joins demonstration against 'field tests' outside Pearson headquarters on Thursday.  >

June 8 – Stuyvesant High School Students in NYC Protest Dress Codes On “Slutty Wednesday”

June 14 – 16 Arrested in Student Debt Protest Last Night


June 22 – Night of the Living Debt- NYC Casserol

Oct 27 – City College Students Protest Tuition Increases

Nov 15 – Students and Parents Protest Mott Haven School Closure




North Carolina

February 5 – UNC Chapel Hill Students protest tuition increase

October 10 – UNC Students protest lack of input on planning process




North Dakota






February 23 – High School students walked out in protest of the school administration’s decision to place teacher on leave

Yellow Springs High School students walked out of class last Wednesday, Feb. 8, in protest of the removal of their chemistry teacher from school. District Superintendent Mario Basora came to the school to field questions from students. (Photo by Lauren Heaton)

March 1 – Ohio State students protest tuition costs, other issues

March 14 – Bolich Middle School Protest Bullying Incident

April 13 – Protesters Decry Kent State Student Fee Change

April 18 – Ohio University students protest tuition hike

May 5 – Students protest for young people’s rights


June 11 – Brown, YSU students protest increase in student loan interest rates

August 13 – National Student Power Convergence: Students Deliver Grievances at Obama Campaign Office

Sept 28 – Students launch protest over school lunches

Oct 25 – Students threaten to withdraw if school doesn’t make changes

November 16 – OU Students Protest Trustees’ Talk Of Tuition Increase





Jan 27- Students carry empty holsters in protest





February 21 – PSU students protest tuition hike

May 1 – Portland Public Schools students protest proposed district budget cuts

May Day PPS Protest

June 7 – UO students protest tuition increase





February 14 – Philadelphia Student Union asks Governor Corbett to “Fall Back inlove with Education”

February 16 – LHU Students Protest Corbett’s Proposed Education Cuts

March 1 – Temple and the UPenn students walk out, protest Corbett’s proposed budget cuts 

March 1 – West Chester Students protest budget cuts

March 2 – Students March Through City Protesting Governor Corbett’s Edu Cuts

Students caused traffic jams in Center City during their protest of Governor Corbett's education cuts. (Credit: Pat Loeb)

March 3 – Students Protest Proposed Sxhool Closing

March 21 –  East Stroudsburg University students protest Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget cuts

March 23 – Edinboro students, faculty protest proposed budget cuts

March 29 – Students Protest Budget Cuts in Harrisburg

March 30 – Throughout PA, college students protest Governor’s 40 to 50% cuts

April 5 – Decarcerate PA March to Build Communities, Not Prisons

May 2 – Students, Parents, Teacher Protest Upper Darby School District Cuts

May 3 – Students ‘die’ to protest budget cuts

fake death

May 10 – Salisbury Students Protest Teacher Cuts

May 15 – Community protest demanding that Governor Corbett invests in the community, not prisons

May 23, 2012 – Harrisburg students, parents & teachers packed the steps of the capitol, fighting for public education to be a priority in the state budget

June 13 – Teachers, students protest proposed school cuts at Pa. capital

August 9 – Students Push for Changes in Philadelphia School District

student protest

August 30 – Plum High School Students Protest Lunches at School



Rhode island

March 22 – URI Students protesting tuition hikes



South Carolina

April 13 – USC Students carry empty holsters to protest policy



South Dakota






Feb 2 – Lane Students Protest Poor Security On Campus

March 2 – Haywood County High School Students Protest Principal

April – Student Protests Promotion of Christianity At her Public High School

May 4 – Students, School Board Members protest “It’s Ok To Be Gay” Yearbook Article

June 5 – Undocumented Immigrant Students Protest Right to Education

Sept 10 – Student Protest school conditions and firing of teachers

Sept 14 – Students protest to have concerns heard

Nov 5 – Students protest school start time, 25 suspended 





March 2 – Teachers & students rally against standardized testing

June 9 – Students protest teacher layoffs

Oct 26 – Students protest in support of student




March 19 – Tripview students organize walkout to show support for suspended head football coach

Timpview students stage walkout to show support for Wong

March 20 – Students in Eureka protest decision to let principal go 

March 30 – Salt Lake City – East High students walk out of class to protest tardiness policy




April 19, 2012 – African students walk out of school in protest





March 1 – UVA Student Hunger Strike Ends After 13 Days, Students Claim ‘Enormous Victory’

April 20 – Students Protest Bishop O’Connell Teacher Firing

May 22 – Students Protest Potential School Closings

June 22 – University of Virginia students protest, feel betrayed after ouster of Teresa Sullivan

Nov 16 – Students protest Budget cuts





March 23 – Students walk out in support of Tukwila teachers’ complaints

Students walk out in support of Tukwila teachers' complaints

April 13 – Seattle – Students rally in support of controversial teacher

April 24 – Students protest union busting move at U of Washington

June 8 – Anti war and Student Debt protest in the same Evening

June 13 – Student Debt Noise Brigade” march in Seattle


June 20 – SPD Tangles with student debt protesters | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

Nov 6 – Students Walk Out to Protest Condition of School



Washington, DC

March 24 – 36 Students Arrested Protesting Sallie Mae

March 26 – ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND: students protest in Washington DC

Nov 15 – Protest against DC School Closings

Nov 19 – Howard University Students Protest Tuition Hike




West Virginia

April 20 – Kanawha County High School Students Protest New Policy


May 10, 2012- Rhinelander High School students walk out of class in protest of teacher layoff notices



35 thoughts on “UPDATE: List of 2012 Student Protests Regarding Education in the U.S.

    • Thank you for sharing this, I really appreciate it! Powerful when parents use their voices as well. Yet for this specific list, I wanted to only include protests where students were involved in the protest.

  1. Pingback: Occupy Education: Student Protests Of 2012 (Guest Post by Stephanie Rivera) « Cooperative Catalyst

  2. Dr. Ravitch, on somedays these bones are so tired of this fight against fake education reformers that I feel completely alone. On those days fighting against NCLB and RTTT feels like I am drowning. It is like being caught in a tempest of deceit and lies going down- while holding on to the last piece of truth I have left. I am willing to go down with this ship of “Children Are More Than Test Scores”.
    I rather be a candle of truth and hope burning in an abyss of dark lies. Every time I start feeling that way I find hope in my fellow candles. Bravo to every students standing up in America. You are inspiring.
    Thank you Daine Ravitch for sending the Walking Man a thousand candles,

  3. Pingback: Students You Should Be Following on Twitter « Teacher Under Construction

  4. Pingback: List of 2012 U.S. Teacher Protests « Teacher Under Construction

  5. Pingback: List of U.S. Student Protests Analyzed « Teacher Under Construction

  6. Pingback: Read More « Student Voice

  7. I’d like to add a few more for New Jersey as well. Both Rutgers and Montclair, the two biggest state schools in NJ decide tuition increases in a non-democratic fashion during meetings in which students aren’t allowed to speak. Students mic checked the Rutgers board of governors on June 22nd ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9pHmv2wSL0 ) and MSU’s board of trustees on July 26th ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9pHmv2wSL0 ) Also, Tent State was expanded this year to include other schools with Montclair and Rowan each simultaneously organizing their own campus actions during April 16-20. ( http://www.northjersey.com/news/Montclair_State_students_join_protest_of_education_costs.html http://youtu.be/AKaLa2nIcGw ) The year isn’t over so there will be plenty more to add later!

  8. Impressive list! Great that you took the time to put this together.
    I did a similar overview for June 2012 but for the global level and focussing on protests in connection with the struggle against the increasing commercialization of education, therefore also including activities by parents and teachers.
    You can access it here: http://ism-global.net/protests_worldwide_june2012

    I thought that this might interest you as well.

    in solidarity from marburg (germany) ~


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  11. Pingback: My Experience at the National Student Power Convergence « Teacher Under Construction

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  16. Stephanie – this is AMAZING!!!!

    One request and one question / idea:

    Request: For 2013, where possible, can you add city and state? It’s hard to tell where a lot of these are!

    Question / idea : How hard is it to contact the protest organizers? This would be one incredible network if you find the people behind the protests!


  17. Pingback: Please Don’t Call Me An Education Reformer | Teacher Under Construction

  18. Pingback: Growing Losses: List of Teachers Who Have Publicly Resigned | Teacher Under Construction

  19. I don’t even understand how I stopped up right here, but I assumed this submit used to be good. I do not know who you are however definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger if you aren’t already. Cheers!

  20. Pingback: U.S. Student Protests Thus Far in 2013 | Teacher Under Construction

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  22. Pingback: List of Student Protests Against the PARCC | Teacher Under Construction

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