DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While it was smiles and positive optimism at campuses across North Texas Monday, back to school didn’t go so well at one school in the Dallas Independent School District.
A vocal group of parents made it clear today they don’t want the principal of Burleson Elementary, Yolanda Knight, anywhere near their children.
Braving the heat parents sat outside the school with signs of protest. While the group said they hope to gain more supporters, parents have agreed to give the district two weeks to help resolve some of their concerns.
Instead of optimism about new teachers and classrooms members of the protesting group said they were reluctant to send their children back to Burleson Elementary. “I’m just worried about my kid,” one parent said. “Everybody, we are worried about our kids.”
With the help of Latino activist Rene Martinez, more than 50 parents, including the leader of the parent teacher organization, Rosy Acosta, submitted letters to the DISD with a variety of complaints against Principal Knight.
“The principal has been very disrespectful with the parents, [using] very abusive language, cursing at the parents,” Martinez claimed, adding that communication with parents often consists of, “…yelling, screaming, ignoring them, not returning phone calls.”
Parents like Laura Reyes removed her children from the school. “Last year I moved to another school, because of [the] many problems over here.”
Flash-forward to the new school year and dozens of parents are threatening to also put their children in other schools if Knight is not removed. “I don’t want my kids to be in her hands. Not at all.”
The school district learned of the complaints about Knight in June and protests to remove her from her post began last week.
A district representative asked parents to give them two weeks to address the issues. “What we’re trying to do is communicate both with parents and with the administrators at that school to try to work towards a resolution on these issues,” DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander explained.
For now parents are holding their ground and are adamant about taking action. “If in two weeks something doesn’t happen we are not going to bring our children to the school.”
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