Houston/ Community & Society
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Published on May 17, 2024
Houston Students and Parents Plan Walkout to Protest HISD Layoffs and Superintendent's PoliciesSource: Wikipedia/David Ramirez Molina, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Tensions are mounting in the Houston Independent School District as students and parents gear up for a series of protests against the district's recent slew of non-renewals, which have included principals and teachers. According to the Houston Chronicle, at least 30 schools are expected to participate in a student walkout this Friday afternoon. The protests aim to oust state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles and reverse what protestors call 'harmful and restrictive policies.'

HISD faces a daunting $450 million budget deficit, prompting the district to issue reduction in force notices in a bit to lower costs. As the chronicle outlines, the discontent stems not just from the budget woes but also from the perceived performance-based dismissals and contract non-renewals. Protests have been intensifying, with parents and students from Crockett Elementary School and West Briar Middle School recently taking to the streets. A notable demonstration is planned for Friday evening outside HISD's Educators of the Year event.

While the district insists that these performance assessments are routine, HISD parents and students beg to differ. "We have a voice so you know we do have some people that are like, it's not going to change anything or anything like that and it may not, but at least we can say we tried and we are showing Mr. McClish that we support him," Myeasha Craven, mother of a fourth-grader and president of the parent-teacher organization at The School at St. George Place, told KHOU. Craven is organizing a protest for the following morning to show solidarity with the beloved principal Sean McClish, whose contract will not be renewed.

Superintendent Miles has remained steadfast concerning the district's actions, asserting that these are based on spot observations or instructional reviews and achievement data.