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Faculty to demonstrate "death" of education in Tennessee with funeral procession

April 8, 2002

To protest the Tennessee legislature's failure to support education, faculty, staff and students at Austin Peay and other Tennessee universities are planning a "funeral" for education in Tennessee.

At the suggestion of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, APSU faculty and students will hold the procession and funeral in Clarksville on Saturday, April 13.

"We hope to alert local voters to the consequences of our legislators' failure to act," said Dr. Mike Schnell, associate professor of languages and literature. "And we hope that our colleagues on other campuses will hold similar processions on the same day. That way, we can have the benefit of both statewide and local action."

The idea, Schnell says, is to use a "humorously exaggerated" funeral procession to relay a serious message: The legislature's failure to act threatens education in Tennessee.

Schnell says he and other faculty organizing the event will proceed with "as little fuss as possible." Participants will gather in front of the administration building (Browning) at 11 a.m. and then march into the downtown area. Students, faculty and staff may "improvise" on the general theme of the procession as they choose.

Schnell says they will encourage attendance by others with an interest in education. "We will invite teachers from the local schools to join us," he said. "We will also invite our legislative representatives and local journalists."

The procession will leave campus, take a 12-block route through downtown, then head back to campus for a mock burial of the Austin Peay mascot.