Teachers who believe in freedom acknowledge the incalculable value of every student, recognize implicitly or explicitly that the fullest development of each individual is the necessary condition for the full development of all, and, conversely, that the fullest development of all is the condition for the full development of each. Their elemental lesson—whatever else they teach—is that you have every right to be here in this classroom, in this school and larger society, to be recognized and understood, and that you need no one’s permission to interrogate the world. We see before our eyes a sustained and relentless attack on democracy in real time, an attack with multiple dimensions and tactics and venues—but make no mistake, the struggle is not over this or that book, this or that idea or theory. The fundamental fight is for the right to think at all, which is in dispute.
By William Ayers