YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown branch of the National Association for the Advanced of Colored People (NAACP) is calling for more equality in academics.
The group, along with other community leaders, held a “Community Civil Rights Education Summit” on Monday to discuss issues at Youngstown’s East High School.
Parents, students and some community members, along with the NAACP, say they brought their concerns to the Youngstown City School Board of Education meeting last week. Those in attendance had concerns about textbook and teacher shortages, poor attendance rates from both students and teachers and high numbers of both in-and out-of-school suspensions.
“American History, we have to share textbooks because we don’t have enough for all the students, and it’s just, it’s really hard. Like how do you want us to learn and get all this stuff we need to know for the tests. You want us to pass when we don’t even have the stuff that we need to pass them with?” asked East High student Alexis Palumbo during Monday’s meeting.
School Board member Dario Hunter said he is also frustrated by the lack of resources within the district. He said many of the students are shipped off to in-school suspensions or into rooms where they aren’t doing work over and over again.
The NAACP says it wants Youngstown’s East High School to be more comparable to Youngstown Early College and Boardman and Austintown Fitch high schools.
East High School has received failing grades under the State Report Card system for years, and this year, it received another overall “F” rating in the latest report card from the state.
“There are just a number of issues that have been gone unaddressed and that have contributed, if you will, to the poor, poor, academic performance of the students at East,” said School Board member Jacqueline Adair.
The more than 30 people at Monday’s meeting all agreed that something has to be done, and it is going to take a lot of support from, not only the parents of children at East, but the entire community to get results.
“Our kids are getting cheated. They are. They are getting cheated and we, the Parent Student Union, the NAACP, the Parent Empowerment, we are going to change this,” said Wanda Coleman, co-chair of the Parent Student Union.
School Board member Dario Hunter said he encourages people to attend the School Board meetings and fill up the docket when there is time allotted for public participation.