Parents weigh in on Jefferson County schools equality controversy

Jefferson Co. school meeting

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Is your child’s school fair and equal? That was the topic Thursday for some parents in Jefferson County. The discussion is part of a series of community meetings the Department of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Thursday’s meeting was held at Pinson Valley High School, and the parents on hand had issues that related to the feeder schools in the district.

There was list of issues, ranging from school zones to discipline and school textbooks. Parents had the opportunity to really voice their concerns with hopes of seeing some improvements in those areas.

For one parent she had concerns about mental health in the classroom.

“There has been no support at the school for children who have these issues. The only thing they know how to do is to suspend them,” said one mom.

Others discussed computer access and textbooks.

“I just feel that something is going on with the eastern side of the county. I don’t feel like we are not getting the same attention that the western side of the county is getting,” the parent said.

Parents voice their concern about Jefferson County Schools
Parents voice their concern about Jefferson County Schools

The point of the meeting was to determine if children are getting equal and fair access when it comes to schools, teachers and extracurricular activities.

"It’s always a great opportunity for school district individuals to sit there and listen to that because ultimately it’s our partnership with those parent to ensures a successful educational opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Craig Pouncey, Jefferson County School Superintendent.

These meetings are a process to get the district from under a more than 50-year-old desegregation order. Pouncey said this would allow the district to address some of the needs in the district without having to go to the courts to do so.

The next set of meetings will start on October 22.

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