Monday, October 8, 2012
"I feel like my children were isolated without my permission in that auditorium," said Velarie Wallace, mother.
Wallace's daughter and son at Truesdell Middle School were part of an assembly last Thursday. The assembly was only for 7th and 8th grade students of African-American descent.
"I just felt hurt and like I was kinda angry because it's almost as if he was telling me like I was doing bad. Just looking down on me," said La'Keva Wallace, student.
A slide show presentation about 2011-2012 state assessments showed that African-American students at Truesdell scored the lowest based on sub-groups, 38.3% and 32.8% were proficient in reading and math, respectively.
"Those numbers alarm me. They do alarm me and I do believe that we have to do better. I also think Mr. Davis should've addressed it to the parents because it starts at home first," said Wallace.
Principal Terrell Davis said he has done a similar type of assembly at other schools. He said the talk works by showing students the data and then statistics, like the correlation between illiteracy and prison.
"We want to make sure they understand the urgency of the moment that, 'Hey, I can't waste three years in middle school and then all of a sudden I'm going to get to high school and the lightbulb's going to go on,'" said Davis.
The principal said he did not want a school wide assembly so that he could address the concerns in smaller groups.
"If from this conversation or from this assembly there are more academic conversation that happen, both at Truesdell and at home, then it was a success," said Davis.
The principal said the presentation also included a talk about resources available to students like before and after school tutoring programs.