Student sit-in protests possible state takeover
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – Several dozen high school students from the St. Louis Public Schools have been protesting a possible state takeover of the district late Wednesday afternoon at city hall.
Several community activists and school board members joined them for a sit-in at Mayor Francis Slay's office. It started Wednesday afternoon and continued over night. The group was still there this (Thursday) morning.
State education officials may decide this month whether to put a three-member appointed board in charge of the system. They could also revoke the district's accreditation.
That worries Donovan Jackson - a junior at Gateway High School. He says a loss of accreditation could hurt students' chances at scholarships and college acceptance.
"It would put a lot of seniors in jeopardy, because they won't have time to switch to an accredited district," Jackson said. The group also called on Mayor Slay to stop the takeover.
A spokesman for Slay would not comment on tape, but said the mayor does not have authority over the school district.
However if an oversight panel is appointed, Slay would get to choose one of the members.
SCHOOL PLAN HEARINGS
Meanwhile, the district will hold the last of five public hearings tonight (Thursday) to discuss plans for reconfiguring nearly half of the district's schools. Under the plan, three of the schools would close.
People have been offering comment on the plan and their last chance to do so will be from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. tonight at Northwest Transportation and Law Academy (5140 Riverview Blvd.).