The teachers are gone. The administrators as well. Students have seized control here and at hundreds of other schools across Brazil in a widespread rebellion against government budget cuts.
The takeovers began in early October and have spread to at least 19 states, a wave of youth resistance to the austerity policies of new President Michel Temer, who faces the gargantuan task of pulling Latin America’s largest economy out of deep recession while reining in the deficit.
At the Colegio Pedro II – Humaita II high school in Rio de Janeiro, about 50 students sleep on the campus each night, and 100 more join them each day for self-organised yoga and dance classes, lectures and plays.
On a recent day, a guest lecturer taught them about gravitational pull. Other students milled about in the hallways or gathered in the cafeteria to peel potatoes for lunch.
The students have even set up their own library, …