A group of parents and others in the town of Paris, Texas hold a protest at a district superintendent’s office after TEA ratings shed light on an issue they’ve complained about for years.
Press Release Service – Wired PR News – The first day of classes for the Paris Independent School District was not typical of that for other districts across the country. PISD was faced with an early day protest from a group of local citizens discouraged by the district’s recent “Academically Unacceptable” rating from the Texas Education Agency.
Protesters rallied at the PISD superintendent’s office citing the issues they feel contributed to the unacceptable rating are those they have been trying to bring to the attention of school officials for years. Among the protesters were members of the local nonprofit organization, Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality, who noted that in 2006, they filed a complaint with the PISD school board regarding the high number of minority students who were placed in ISS and Alternative School for minor infractions. The group stated that “there is no schoolwork done in ISS and the alternative school does not provide access to certain classes, which leads to some of the students falling behind or dropping out.”
In the Aug. 2 publication of the Paris News, Assistant Superintendent Mark Hudson is quoted as stating of the TEA rating, “Alternative education students behind in class work but not severe discipline problems have been moved to the high school campus from the alternative PASS program on Lamar Avenue to have access to elective courses.” CCFRE members believe the action will not be beneficial.
A member of CCFRE told Wired PR News “unless a student has severe discipline problems, they shouldn’t be at alternative school to begin with. It shouldn’t take an unacceptable rating for PISD to care about student progress. We also have an issue with one-sided school write ups being used as criminal records if a student ends up in a criminal justice situation. Students should be able to state their side of the incident and get a parent signature. Too often staff members call the police for incidents that could and should be handled by school staff.”
At the protest, the group called for the dismissal of superintendent Paul Trull as well as Paris High School principal Gary Preston, chanting “No Justice No Peace” and “Education, Not Incarceration.” Anthony Bond, founder of the Irving NAACP and Jim Blackwell of the Tarrant County Local Organizing Committee expressed the position that the district seems to concentrate more on punishing minority students than they do on educating them.
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