Students have been skipping classes and parents and community advocates are protesting in the streets to show their dissatisfaction with Newark Public Schools’ new reorganization plan.
The Newark Ledger-Star reports that about 150 protestors blocked a busy city street Wednesday, forcing police to divert traffic. About 200 students held a protest rally rather than attend classes Tuesday in a city park. Some parents showed their dissatisfaction with Newark’s new student enrollment plan by keeping their children home on Sept. 4—the district’s first day of school.
Students and supporters also are using social media to announce future protest plans and post pictures and videos of themselves using the hashtag #ournewark. The Newark Student Union‘s Facebook page features a video of police attempting to break up one student protest.
Among the protestors’ demands are for the district to halt the implementation of the so-called One Newark reorganization plan; the resignation of Superintendent Cami Anderson; returning the state-controlled district to local leaders; and a meeting with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
During a visit to a Camden school Wednesday, NJ Spotlight reports that Christie said some of the protestors were “trying to undercut the success of the very schools they’re sending their children to.” Christie has been a staunch supporter of Anderson, who signed a new three-year contract in July.
Meanwhile, a Newark schools spokeswoman told the Ledger-Star that district officials are willing to meet again with protestors, but are also concerned about students missing critical class time.
A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.