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Students Staged Walk-Out

Leaders with Recovery School District are considering ways to improve the learning environment.

It comes on the heels of a student protest Wednesday at Carver Collegiate Academy.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked to students, parents, and school administrators.

Students at George Washington Carver Collegiate, and Preparatory Academy Schools took their frustrations out of the classroom Wednesday and into the streets.

“We want change,” student Jeremiah Mills said.

They staged a walk-out to protest conditions and the overall learning environment on campus.

“Yeah, the school is like a prison but we just get to get out,” student Marquisha Anderson said.

About one-hundred students rallied on Read Boulevard.

Police were called; along with parents who voiced concerns about school lunch.

“Just white rice with cheese; that’s not healthy that’s not a meal,” parent Casheka Celius said.

“We use Revolution Foods which is a healthy school lunch program,” Collegiate Academy President Morgan Ripski said.

“They’re here until 4:30 in the evening they need to feed them something way better than cheese rice,” Celius said.

The 9th and 10th graders say they’re treated like elementary students, who are forced to walk in single-file lines, and greet staffers with hand-shakes.

“Because every morning we gotta shake their hands we don’t know what they do with their hands,” Mills said.

“There were some health concerns about that,” Ripski said.

Then, there’s harsh punishment when school rules are broken.

“When students break rules, we’re not effectively communicating with parents exactly what happened,” Ripski said.

“They suspending us back and forth, over simple things like our shoe colors or us not wearing a belt,” Anderson said.

“A lot of parents are concerned that their students are receiving more demerits than necessary,” Ripski said.

Cell phones are a no-no.

“Even if they see the phone in their pocket, they take the phone and they want to keep it for a week, a month, and a year that’s outrageous,” Celius said.

Trotter asked, “How are you addressing those concerns? Sitting down and having one on one meetings with parents because I think each individual parent had different concerns,”  Ripski replied.

She says, students were eventually ushered back to class; as talks continued with school leaders, parents, and a smaller group of students.

“Sounds like you’re open to change? Yes,” Ripski replied.

Parents we talked to off-camera say they appreciate “tough love” at school but most agree in some areas, school leaders may have gone too far.

School leaders are planning to continue meeting with parents to further discuss policy and procedures.