Philadelphia students and parents conclude three-day protest for quality education


The concerns of several Philadelphia School District parents and students were voiced this week, during a three day protest at the high school. They are speaking up against a number of problems they said the district has faced in the last few years.

“We’re out here because the students wanted to express their voices with the concerns they see here every day on campus. We are trying to make sure the Philadelphia School District is going in the right direction and we are going to need that leadership from the top to make sure we get where we need to be,” said Taneka Jordan, who is President of Parents for Public School.

Jordan helped the students organize the protests.

She said they would like administration to address teacher retention rates, accountability ratings, graduation rates and enrollment. For the 2018 to 2019 school year, Philadelphia’s accountability rating improved to a “D” from an “F” the prior year.

Rising senior Davyon McWilliams said he is unhappy with these results.

“It doesn’t feel good at all because I know I am not an “F” student and I do not go to an “F” school so those scores are just not good,” said McWilliams.

Jordan said the main goal is to make Philadelphia an “A” school. “We hope that we can pull together as a community and a school district with our city officials and our mayor and board of aldermen to make sure our students receive that best education possible,” said Jordan.

In response to the protests, Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. Lisa Hull released a statement to Newscenter 11.

“The Philadelphia Public School District respects the First Amendment right to protest and is glad our students appreciate their constitutional freedom.

As with other Mississippi Public School Districts, The Philadelphia public school district has multiple forums for the expression of concerns from students, parents, and the community. The Board of Trustees and district administrators welcome dialogue through these forums and would especially welcome hearing their concerns.

Administrators are currently working on setting up a community meeting to allow stakeholders to provide input into the school district’s work as we all strive to provide the best possible education for our students.

Staff and administration are working diligently to plan for reopening of schools in a manner that meets guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Mississippi State Department of Health in order to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff, and community. Our staff and administration look forward to seeing our students this fall.”