You might have heard that educational reformer and Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers was turned back while trying to cross the Canadian border earlier this week. Ayers was on his way to a speaking engagement in Toronto at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, but border control agents had other ideas — although just what those ideas are, we don’t know, since the border agent cited as the reason a felony conviction from 1969, which apparently doesn’t exist.
Ayers’ name became a political byword in the last election when vice-presidential candidate and world-class twit Sarah Palin seized on a tenuous connection between Ayers and Barack Obama as proof that the now president was cavorting with terrorists.
But before Ayers was a fugutive from the law for his involvement with the Weather Underground, he was an educator and an activist in the late 1960s, running an experimental integrated school in Ann Arbor, Mich. The combination of radical leftist politics and schools naturally brought him into contact with (drum roll, please), the editors of This Magazine Is About Schools, the very publication you’re reading, which at the time was slightly over two years old. Ayers wrote this piece, “Travelling with Children & Travelling On“, about his experiences with the racially mixed school and the uphill work of integrating schools in the U.S. Shortly after, he became a leading figure in Students for a Democratic Society. The rest is history, but we thought you might like a look back at Ayers’s original article, which we pulled out of the archives and rescanned. You can read the PDF online and download it for yourself here.
[Thanks to reader Michael for finding the article title, which made the search a lot easier!]