October 2020

Pickerington parents say they were denied with their demands for student & racial equity

Courtesy of ABC6/FOX 28
October 12, 2020
by Lisa Rantala

Students will soon take to the streets in Pickerington for what members of the community are calling inequities within the public school system.

“They said no to every single demand,” said district parent Charles Newman who organized a parents’ rally outside a special school board meeting last week. “It is the district’s responsibility to prove that what we’re seeing isn’t racism.”

Members of the community started speaking out after the district disciplined two administrators for violating the same social media policy. The African American administrator lost her promotion due to the violation while the white administrator received a warning.

Newman and other parents demanded Principal Ruth Stickel also receive a demotion, seats be added to the board to bring in school board members of color and that the district hires an executive director of diversity and inclusion. Newman said the administration refused it all when they all sat down with him last week along with members of the NAACP and Columbus Urban League.

“It’s entirely too much money, and we can’t spend that type of money on this position,” Newman recalled the response. “It kind of put us in a place where you put the equity of our children and you put a price tag on it.”

In response, students are organizing a march Friday night from the school district’s central offices to a nearby high school football field. Newman is also encouraging a campaign against the bond issue now on the November ballot for a new junior high school.

“We can’t continue to build on a broken foundation,” he said.

No one from the school district answered questions sent by ABC6/FOX28 regarding the meeting with Newman and others last week.

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