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Candidate Carletta Fellows, who is running for a seat on the PGCPS Board of Education in District 7 against incumbent Board Member Henry Armwood, responds to allegations of administrators suppressing student dissent at Northwestern High School—
Below are my responses to the questions posed.
- Do you support the response of the administration? If so why? If you oppose it or have concerns what are they?
- Will you sign the petition some PGCPS students have organized demanding their leaders suspensions be lifted athttp://tinyurl.com/pgcpsstudents
- What other thoughts do you have?
1. I do not support the response by the administration. My concerns (see response in #3)
2. Yes I will sign the petition to demand that the suspensions of those student leaders be removed and erased from their permanent records.
3. Speaking as a school board candidate for district 7, I am disappointed in the actions of the Superintendent and the School Administration. I applaud the actions of the 300 students challenging what they consider to be horrendous conditions at Northwestern High School. I applaud their utilizing higher order thinking to peacefully challenge the educational system in Prince George’s County. I believe the proper solution to this problem should have began with a dialogue with student organizers of the demonstration. A task force should have been initiated to investigate the legitimacy of the students claims.
If these 300 students were committing acts of violence, using/selling drugs or involved in salacious behavior the community would be outraged. Suspension as a form of discipline would be appropriate. However, in this situation, the community should be applauding the “civil rights demonstrations” of these students.
The fundamental questions that has to be raised is; Who does Northwestern High School belong to? Does Northwestern High School belong to the Superintendent? Does Northwestern High School belong to the School Board? Does Northwestern High School belong to the Teachers and Administrative Staff? Does Northwestern High School Belong to the Unions? Does Northwestern High School belong to the Contractors who sell goods and services to the school? Finally, does Northwestern High School belong to the parents of students attending Northwestern High School?
The only viable solution is to bring together the stakeholders, who I listed above, who have interest in Northwestern High School. The only viable outcome from this process should be how to make Northwestern High School an educational institution that is conducive to learning as well as being clean and safe with adequate resources to fulfill its educational mission.
As a Candidate for School Board, District 7, I will make the issue about student participation in the educational process a major priority.
Carletta Fellows, Candidate
Prince George’s County School Board, District 7
—* Note- This article has been amended to reflect we originally posted Ms. Fellows was a candidate in District 5.