Bibb County school parents have been handing out fliers in recent days that read “Save Our Schools,” in advance of a planned march to City Hall this weekend.
The group, called the Parent Community Support Team, was in the Bloomfield community last week, and members have targeted neighborhoods around Central and Northeast high schools, among other stops.
Some of the parents say there are too many student disciplinary problems in the Bibb County public school system. They also stress that more parents need to get involved, and that the school system needs to hire the most effective leaders it can in order for students to succeed.
They hope community members will join them for a march to Macon City Hall this Saturday to help raise awareness.
“We’ve visited eight to 10 neighborhoods already and we’re not finished,” said parent advocate Leisa Curtis, who is organizing the march. “Our hope is to bring peace and unity back into our community.”
“We’re getting ready to hire a new superintendent, and we hope parents will get involved” and have a say on who that leader should be, she added.
Among the actions that need addressing in the school system, Curtis said, are making sure school officials make sound hiring decisions and community support for Bibb’s teachers.
Supporters are scheduled to meet at Appling Middle School, 1210 Shurling Drive, in Macon, at 7 a.m. Saturday and begin their march by 7:45 a.m.
The march will start on Shurling Drive, go down Maynard Street to Emery Highway, then onto Second Street, Poplar Street and City Hall. Supporters are asked to wear yellow shirts.
The Bibb County school system has had its struggles in the past year. Superintendent Sharon Patterson left 17 months before the end of her contract. Also, at least three principals were investigated for misconduct, and last month the state’s Professional Standards Commission recommended that four central office administrators’ teaching licenses be suspended for varying lengths of time.
The school board has launched a national search to find high quality superintendent candidates through a firm it recently hired.
“Our fate is in the board members’ hands,” Curtis said. “As we go out and talk to the community, (for some) there’s no trust in the board of education.”
Incoming Northeast High School freshman Kaylor Dennard said she plans to march Saturday to help raise awareness about stopping fights at her school.
“I just want a safe environment where I can learn,” the 14-year-old said. “We also want stronger leaders in our community.”
When supporters arrive at City Hall, there also will be speakers who will address the crowd.
They include state Sen. Robert Brown, D-Macon, Tony Lowden, executive director of Campus Clubs, and school board member Lynn Farmer, among others, Curtis said. She said her group also has other awareness campaigns slated for this summer.
“I think it’s important for parents themselves to jump in and show support,” said Dexter Dumas, a Central High School parent who plans to march Saturday.
To contact writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.