Parents Protest PTSA President's Ouster

Sam P.K. Collins | 6/9/2014, 3 p.m.
A group of disgruntled parents converged on the front steps of a Northeast high school last week to protest proposed ...
Shannon Smith expressed her displeasure about D.C. school closures during a rally on the steps of McKinley Education Campus in Northeast on June 2. The pleas of Smith and other parents didn't prevent the shuttering of Ferebee-Hope Elementary School in Southeast and other District schools in 2013. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

“When [local officials] are thinking about shutting down schools and changing the boundaries, the communities can respond and push back in a meaningful way. These parents were forced out of their schools. This is not just happening at McKinley so we need to raise this issue,” said del Pielago, 41.

Some McKinley parents like Rita Dozier said that a lack of communication from administrators compelled her to attend the rally. Dozier, an application specialist for the federal government, said that she has yet to receive an answer as to why McKinley will no longer offer a mass media course.

“I’ve been an involved parent since my oldest son enrolled in D.C. Public Schools,” said Dozier, 47. “Administrators are reluctant to give answers. It’s not like we don’t have a right to ask these questions. We’re concerned about the plight of our schools and just want our voices to be heard again,” said Dozier, a Southeast resident.

Keenan R. Brown, Sr., whose son attends McKinley, spent much of the evening talking with other parents. He said that school administrators shouldn’t be able to meddle in the affairs of parent groups.

“We need to have something in place so that this does not happen next year,” said Brown, 48. “There's nothing in the rules that say you can't remove the president. [However,] there should be [more of] an explanation,” said Brown, also a McKinley graduate who lives in Northwest.