Parents Organize & Win Leadership Change at Wyatt Academy – By Adrienne Deshaies

In April 2018, an incident occurred at Wyatt Academy in which the Restorative Justice Coordinator was caught on camera inciting two elementary-aged girls to fight physically. The incident was not handled properly by the administration of the school. As a result, in May 2018, the Restorative Justice staff member involved and three school administrators, the elementary principal, assistant principal, and school psychologist were suspended.

Parents at the school were outraged, as this was the final straw in a long history of not feeling heard nor their children protected by the administration of the school this past year. The parent organizing group (PAW, or Parents en Acción at Wyatt), with the assistance of Together Colorado and Wyatt family liaisons, composed a letter to the Wyatt Board of Directors detailing their discontent and their demands that the four suspended administrators be fired and that those hired in their places be trusted, long-time members of the Wyatt community.

The parent group circulated the letter among other parents at the school, collecting signatures of support. They collected around 50 parent signatures. Parent representatives put together a speech outlining the letter and the community process leading up to it, and presented it along with the signatures during public comment at the Wyatt board meeting on July 18, 2018.

After two hours of deliberation, the Wyatt Board of Directors met the demands laid out by the parents in their letter. The Board accepted the Restorative Justice Coordinator’s and the Assistant Principal’s resignations. The Elementary Principal and the School Psychologist were terminated. The Board placed four trusted, long-time staff members in charge of the school for the 2018-2019 year.

Parents received feedback from board members that it was the signatures and the strength of the parent presentation which most influenced their decision.

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