HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Tuesday night’s Huntsville City Schools Desegregation Advisory Committee was jam packed with a concerned community, ready to speak up. This school year has placed the district at the center of much controversy over aggressive fights, a new code of conduct and a newly implemented desegregation order.
The Lee High School Lecture Hall was filled parents of school children, parents who have pulled their children from Huntsville schools and residents who are simply concerned. It was evident the community wants to be heard and they are pleading for some changes within the school system.
"Black, white, pink or blue,” said one concerned citizen. “It should all be for their education and they cannot retain and learn if they are in a fearful environment."
One by one for 45 minutes straight, parents gave their testimony. Some of them spoke about how their children were physically assaulted.
"On three separate occasions he would incur head trauma at school, directly related to the rough climate in the school," shared a parent who pulled his son from Huntsville City Schools.
Another parent spoke up about long commute rides on bus routes from the desegregation order. She stated her daughter rides the bus for more than two hours a day and was assaulted three different times before action was taken, “She actually was yanked out of her seat. Her head hit the ground she was grabbed by her neck. The girl grabbed her from behind and pressed her fingers into her throat. This lasted for about 20 minutes on the route.”
People expressed consistent complaints on the consent order and code of conduct.
"Just because we have an order doesn't mean it's correct," stated one citizen.
Here are recommendations from another parent who pulled out their child from the district.
"I want teachers to have the support they need in order to remove students that have no interest in learning. I want teachers to be able to speak up and discipline without fear of repercussion. There are kids who want to learn and teachers who want to teach. They need to be given the positive environment that the consent order mandates. Thank you."
Following that statement the entire room applauded in agreement and support of the parent.
Committee members intently listened to every concern.
From here, the Desegregation Advisory Committee will act as a liaison between the community and the school board, taking these concerns directly to Huntsville City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Casey Wardynski.