FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Parents and community members addressed concerns at the Southwest Allen County School Board Meeting Tuesday night in the aftermath of racial tensions at Homestead High School in early February.
Communication between district leaders and parents was the most common topic discussed.
Those who commented Tuesday said while they like the steps SACS is taking to move forward, they still have requests for things they’d like to see changed.
Some of those changes include more communication with parents about what’s happening in schools, and listening to parents’ perspectives.
The F.A.C.T.S organization was among those who let their voices be heard Tuesday night. F.A.C.T.S, which stands for Freedom Against Cultural Transgressions in Schools, was recently created to change the current culture at SACS.
Ashley Washington, board member of F.A.C.T.S, gave a few ideas of how this could be done during Tuesday’s board meeting.
“I would love to have continuous flow of a meeting even if it’s a zoom, you know what desire parents that want to join the the, you know, so they let that be or maybe it’s a monthly thing or quarterly just something to keep that air that passes you know of communication open,” Washington said.
April Gregg, another F.A.C.T.S board member, said she hopes the organization will be able to work with SACS on a more personal level moving forward.
“We would love to have a lot more communication,” Gregg said. “We just want to be there to support [the children].”
SACS School Board President Jennifer Bennett said that she is all for finding new ways to communicate better with students.
“This is a team, this is a family. We need to go about this as families do and, well, that’s communicating,” Bennett said, “We’re always willing to learn and we need parental involvement and we know that and we welcome that.”
District leaders said they want the community to know they’re listening to their concerns and are working to find more solutions.
Earlier in the week, Southwest Allen County School superintendent Park Ginder issued another letter to families in which he laid out a plan to improve the culture of the district.
Southwest Allen will partner with community leaders to address issues of race and inclusion in its schools.
Ginder says that while they are able to implement many proposed changes right away, creating a more inclusive school culture will take time.