500 signatures reached
To: Washington DC leaders, advocates, and everyone who cares about black kids getting a good school
#JusticeForMonumentKids: Say NO PLAN, NO VOTE with Angel and her friends
Sixth-grader Angel, her fellow students, and their Monument Academy community ask you to tell DC public officials NO PLAN, NO VOTE on trying to close Monument Academy early.
Low-income, at-risk black students deserve a plan for good, safe schools just as much as all the other students. AND they deserve a public, open process and where families' voices get heard.
Monument's Board plans to vote on closing only one week after the board first spoke to parents about it, after last-minute and irregular processes, and without a plan for where Monument kids would go.
#JusticeforMonumentKids demands accountability, transparency, safety, and equality for Monument Academy, DC's black, at-risk, low-income students and families.
NO PLAN NO VOTE.
Why is this important?
Monument Academy Public Charter School serves the most at-risk fifth to eighth graders in Washington DC. It is 100% Black. It offers 5-day-a-week residential homes, plus full academic, mental, emotional, and behavioral support to students who have experienced trauma, been expelled or asked to leave schools, have had active cases in the child welfare system, been homeless, and/or have deep behavior challenges.
Last week, students and families learned Monument may abruptly close in June after rushed processes behind closed doors. The day students found out, Monument sixth-grader Angel (age 11) created this paper petition to keep Monument open. She walked around school and asked other students to sign it. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME MONUMENT STUDENTS OR FAMILY HAD A VOICE IN THE PROCESS. Everyone voted yes. The petition gave them hope. So friends are helping her putting it online.
Angel loves her school and wants to keep her it open. No matter what, there cannot be a vote to close it without a plan for Angel and her friends to be safe, secure, and have best chances for success. Over 85 of DC’s most vulnerable families have NO transparent, accurate information about where their children would go—much less if those options will provide equal or better support for their children’s many needs.
Will you stand with Angel and Monument students and demand NO PLAN, NO VOTE?
Black and low-income children, family, and caregivers rights and choices are being taken away by last-minute board processes, powerful adults making decisions without transparency, despite crucial missing data, on a rushed timeline, with no formal family, student, and staff input.
Here are questions parents and students want answered:
--> Why hasn't anyone asked US about OUR school?
--> Where will we go? Lots of us have already had to leave other schools. What schools will take us? Will we be safe?
--> A lot of us are homeless (35%). Where do we go if you take away the home where we sleep five nights a week?
--> Why did it happen so fast? Why didn't we know? Why do other schools get public processes and Monument kids don't?
--> We CHOSE Monument. Why are our voices being ignored?
--> What happens to the Monument building and why are people already trying to get it?
--> Are low-income, high-risk, Black DC students receiving equal, transparent, and just treatment?
We don’t have answers. But we do have questions. A lot of questions.
ALL CHILDREN DESERVE THE BEST OUTCOMES BASED ON TRANSPARENT PROCESSES.
Monument staff and students work hard and want to be judged in a fair process. If better options exist, our students deserve them. The DC School lottery ended 5 months ago. Monument cannot safely close without plans for our students.
Monument cannot die in the dark and then send students to schools ill-equipped to serve them.
Please sign our petition. We need DC public officials with responsibility to do right by students and families. Tell them you are watching and what you think.