Contact: Amelia Adams - (646) 250-5797
Achievement First Charter School Parents Demand Disciplinary Reform
Parents Cite Several Incidents in Schools and Detrimental Discipline Policies
Thirty parents rallied and attended the Achievement First Board meeting to call for a change to the charter school network’s discipline policies.
Parents were angered at the disciplinary actions taken against their children in Achievement First schools. Many students in the schools have had detention almost every day of the year and been suspended for infractions such as dropping a pencil, not making eye contact and “slouching.”
“These rules have to change. My son was called a “low-level criminal” because he initialed his name in the wrong location on a form. He was suspended and they made him wear a different color shirt for the rest of the day,” said Jasmine Crawford parent of an Achievement First student.
Parents felt that the disciplinary policies have had a very detrimental effect on students’ emotional states, even to the point where students talk about suicide.
“My son has threatened to walk out in the street and be run over by a car, instead of going to school,” said one Achievement First parent who did not want to be named publicly for fear of retribution on her son.
Parents were also very disturbed that Chi Tschang, who has a history of emotionally and physically abusing children, was brought in as Superintendent of their schools. Mr. Tschang had been reported in California to have put his hands on students and using harsh punishments like sitting out in extreme cold/sun for hours. Parents at Achievement First called for the removal of Mr. Tschang and requested to work with administration to implement a fair and transparent code of conduct.
Several parents delivered a letter (attached) to the Crown Heights AF principal and requested a meeting in regards to disciplinary policies on October 27th, but have yet to hear back.
Council Member Letitia James added her support for the parents, “When a large group of parents gather to voice their dissatisfaction with their children’s school policies, I listen. The parents of Achievement First Schools are my constituents, and therefore my first priority. Apparently, students are also sharing experiences of harsh punishments with others, specifically under the direction of the Superintendent of their schools. Today, I am calling for an immediate meeting to be held with the Crown Heights Achievement First principal to discuss disciplinary policies and make necessary adjustments that are agreed upon by all parties.”
When: Monday, November 22nd at 5:30pm
Where: Achievement First Endeavor - 510 Waverly Ave. in Brooklyn
Who: Achievement First Parents, NYCC, elected officials and community members