School leaders speak with community on concerns at George Wythe High School
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The leadership team with George Wythe High School met with community members Wednesday night to answer concerns and go over a plan to change the narrative of the school.
“We get a bad wrap but I am here to tell you we’re going to change the narrative in the Southside of Virginia,” Kevin Olds, principal at George Wythe, said.
Back in October, a student was arrested for a shooting off campus and was later found to have brought a gun onto school property.
Olds, who took over in November, told parents at the meeting that during his first week he told students it’s not up to him what the culture of the building looks like.
“We’re going to put parameters in place and we’re going to allow you to make decisions. This is what we call a least restricted environment,” Olds said he told students. “It’s not the penitentiary, it’s not the pipeline to prison, and we will not run it as a jailhouse.”
School administration later took questions from parents ranging from what safety measures Richmond Public Schools has in place to how are they talking to students when they see a threat.
“These kids need to talk. They need to speak out,” a parent said. “They really need to speak out in order for all of you all adults to know what to do.”
“You’re talking in specifics. I can’t be specific with what we are doing because when you say we need kids to speak up, absolutely, but here’s what we need. We need parents to have those conversations at home,” Olds replied.
Olds said to really change the narrative of the school they need parents’ involvement within the school walls.
“It’s something to be said about a parent that’s visible in school because when you have a voice on the PTA, you might be invisible inside of the building, but you are visible with the structure of the building and that’s what we need,” Olds said.
An update was also given on the construction of the new school building.
Chief Operating Officer Dana Fox believes they could break ground on the new building sometime this summer.
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