MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Dozens of Memphis students stepped out of their classrooms Friday to protest their education at a brand new high school.
Students walked out of Crosstown High School at the Crosstown Concourse and released a letter, laying out why they’re protesting numerous issues that they say is severely impacting their education and their future.
The students say when the school opened its doors, administrators promised to listen to student’s needs and provide a student-focused education. The students say that is not happening.
“Since the beginning of the school year, we have had no control over changes being made to our education,” one student said, reading from the student’s letter.
Last summer, Crosstown High, a public charter school part of Shelby County Schools, opened to fanfare from students and administrators.
The school leaders said they planned to be different, offering a competency-based education and individual learning plans.
“The way the school works is we have to sit down and really collaborate,” said Deion Jordan, teacher. “We have to sit down and think about how are we going to teach this content, how does our content connect.”
Students say the school has not lived up to its promise. In a letter, students outlined issues they have including an unfair grading system that is failing students who are passing, curriculum that is below high school standards, and they say the school purposefully segregates black and white students into different grade groupings.
“The school obviously isn’t fulfilling its original mission of designing a racially and culturally diverse classroom experience,” another student said, reading from the letter.
These students are demanding two non-voting student representative positions on the board of trustees, as well as a group of students working with administration to come up with solutions.
Students said they believe the school can fix its issues and they have faith in the ideals the school was founded on.
We reached out to Crosstown High for comment but we have not heard back.