“Today is day 19.
My spirit is strong but I would be lying if I told you this hunger strike for healthcare didn’t take a physical and emotional toll on me. It’s hard to sit here tonight as we get ready to watch this board pass millions of dollars in contracts for disposable classroom furniture. Substitute teachers are not disposable.
The only thing worse than the physical suffering of not eating, not being able to sleep, work, or think clearly is the pain of coming to this building, meeting after meeting, standing before the school board on behalf of hundreds of MPS substitute teachers, looking them in the eye and telling them about the suffering substitute teachers endure without healthcare. And then getting nothing in return but silence.
Every day, my union sisters and brothers give me strength to go on. You give me strength. For my safety and well-being, you keep me company day and night. You take turns being my designated drivers and offer me teas and broths. You have chipped in donations so I can afford to see a doctor. You give me hope. I am heartened by the your show of humanity, love, and solidarity.
However, with each day that goes by I am more and more disappointed that the members of the board are willing to deny substitute teachers a basic human right.
I am here tonight to tell this board that the hunger strike will continue. Today is day 19 and I am NOT going away. I WILL. NOT. STOP.
I will not stop until healthcare is given to substitute teachers.”
– MPS Substitute Teacher Alex Brower on Day 19 of his hunger strike