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Sign this petition for freedom in the classroom

Filed under
GNU

As discussion among free software activists on our libreplanet-discuss mailing list has shown in recent weeks, digital education can thrive when we make freedom a priority. No student should have to trade their freedom for an education. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has already worked together with an MIT professor to free his classes, and have been sharing our knowledge with the Boston public school system. Today, we're taking the next step in that commitment.

Beginning today, we are working to change the remote education landscape with a new petition targeting the serious harm proprietary software poses to students, and at the same time, emphasizing the idea that there is an ethical solution. Whether it's Microsoft Teams being used to connect students to each other, Google Classroom being used to write every document, or Zoom being used for the classroom session itself, we want to get the message across that the only acceptable answer when it comes to how much proprietary software should be permitted in schools is none. Making students depend on nonfree software to learn is not only harmful to them in the short-term, but it is a failed opportunity to impart the values of free access, studying, sharing, and collaboration.

At the FSF, we are working hard to make free software a kitchen table issue: one that's spoken about and taken seriously by people from all walks of life, and is not just a cause taken up by a small but impassioned community. We understand that speaking up for yourself about these issues can be difficult, which is why we're offering to put our voice behind yours as the leading organization in the movement. When signing the petition, you have the option to let us know if you're a student, parent, teacher, or administrator of a school that requires the use of proprietary software. We'll get in touch with their administration on your behalf, and let them know that a global community of activists and everyday people alike have signed a statement in support of free software in education.

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