Forum on Crenshaw High transformation features youth

Students demand voice in school changes

Cynthia E. Griffin | 5/30/2013, 6 a.m.
More than 50 students, parents, teachers and community members turned out for a forum on the future of Crenshaw High, ...
Students and parents voice their concerns at a forum at Crenshaw High School.

One of the three demands the students articulated at the forum was the desire for the full implementation of the School Climate Bill of Rights. This legislation was recently approved by the school board but will not be implemented until the 2013-14 school year.

The students are also demanding a healthy and holistic school that addresses all the needs of students of color by investing in resources.

According to the Community Rights Campaign survey, 51 percent of students say there are adequate resources to support their learning and achievement compared to 49 percent who thought there were inadequate resources.

Additional research by the campaign found that the resources appear to be available, but students don’t know about them.

About 53 percent of the young people said there are not adequate services to support their emotional needs as students (i.e. a school nurse, who apparently only comes to the campus one day a week). Another 47 percent believe that such supports are adequate.

Finally, the students want the district to prioritize the inclusion of their voices in the transformation process.

The student survey demonstrates the perception of how far away LAUSD has been so far in this endeavor, because only 4 percent strongly agree that Crenshaw students were involved in the decision-making process of transformation. Another 10 percent strongly agree that their parent/guardian had been contacted by the district or the school administration about the process. Only 5 percent strongly agreed that they were asked to be involved in the interview panels for the principal, teachers and staff re-hiring process.

Bartleson noted that more than 40 interview panels have convened so far and each contained a student, parent and community member.

Within the next few weeks, the students say they will combine all of their demands into one document and present it to the school district and the administration at Crenshaw.