I was introduced to the Australian mockumentary “Summer Heights High” by my friend Steven Caldwell (who is also, by the way, the person who gave me the phrase ‘be the chainsaw you wish to see in the world‘). This show was apparently a raging hit when it aired in Australia, and Steven thought I would find its take on public education hilarious.
I didn’t find the show hilarious. I found it tragic and deeply moving and even a little bit beautiful. Most of all, I fell in love with Jonah, a Pacific Islander who disrupts class, fights with classmates, and struggles to read. If you care about equity in education, you should watch this show. If you care about social justice in education and you watch the series from beginning to end–there are only eight episodes–you will fall in love with Jonah too. It’s also highly likely that you will cry out of sadness and rage before the end.
The entire show is available via Netflix and in various places online. Here are a few clips to convince you.
- Letter from a Bloomington high school student to the students of Aurora Alternative High School
- I almost joined the Mile High Club for bloggers.
- you have to watch this vlogpost
- I don’t even care that posting this now shows how late I am at getting on the Adam Lambert bandwagon
- things I’m trying to do this summer