Protesters allege abusive treatment at 3 RSD schools - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Protesters allege abusive treatment at 3 RSD schools

Nearly two dozen students and parents protested at the Recovery School District offices Tuesday, saying students are treated inhumanely and three schools – including Carver Prep –have expulsion rates up to seven times higher than the state average.

They gathered on Poydras Street to demand change.

"The disciplinary policies that come out of this institution are horrific," said Carver alumnus The Rev. Willie Calhoun.

Parents and students say Carver Prep, Carver Academy and SCI Academy have rules that are often abusive.

"I felt like I was in a prison setting where you had to walk on line and shake hands, and if you didn't shake hands with a firm grip, you got in trouble," said Carver student Jarrell Johnson.

They say school administrators are particularly insensitive to students with disabilities.

"By him having autism, he's not verbal and he couldn't take it anymore," said Katie Jones, whose grandson is a student. "And he came in and told me that he would be suspended because he wouldn't shake the teacher's hand."

The net result, parents say, are suspension rates much higher than the state average at the three schools operated by the chartering organization Collegiate Academies. A civil rights complaint filed with the U.S. education secretary, the U.S. attorney general and others alleges that Carver Collegiate suspended 69 percent of its students in a single year.

"That seems like a very high number," said Sara Voight, with the Advocacy Center.

The complaint alleges that two of the schools often suspended students by isolating them in a room by themselves for an entire day for minor infractions like wearing the wrong type of belt or wearing jewelry.

"We're in high school," said student Russell Robinson. "We have to walk on lines like we in kindergarten."

The RSD says it's just now hearing about the complaints and officials promise to work with stakeholders to try and improve the situation. The RSD superintendent was out of town.'

"I will definitely pass this on to the superintendent,"said Nash Crews, with the RSD.

The complaint alleges that a lack of teacher training and cultural sensitivity are at the root of the problem. The Advocacy Center urges any parent - especially those with special needs children - to complete an individual student evaluation that outlines an educational program.

If there are variations, such as those alleged today, the Advocacy Center said it can often be addressed through a formal process.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • National drive providing suits to those in need

    National drive providing suits to those in need

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:03 PM EDT2017-07-22 03:03:17 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    For nine years Lake Charles Men’s Wearhouse store manager Michael Rodriguez has been helping men look their very best. But Rodriguez also gets a chance to help men and women struggling to find a job through his company’s annual suit drive.

    More >>

    For nine years Lake Charles Men’s Wearhouse store manager Michael Rodriguez has been helping men look their very best. But Rodriguez also gets a chance to help men and women struggling to find a job through his company’s annual suit drive.

    More >>
  • Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death

    Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death

    Friday, July 21 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-07-22 02:53:36 GMT
    Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death. (Source: KPLC)Lake Charles men indicted in connection with Fournet Street shooting death. (Source: KPLC)

    A Lake Charles man was indicted Friday by a grand jury in connection with a shooting that killed another man in May.

    More >>

    A Lake Charles man was indicted Friday by a grand jury in connection with a shooting that killed another man in May.

    More >>
  • Concerns raised about possible revisions to Calcasieu sewerage ordinance

    Concerns raised about possible revisions to Calcasieu sewerage ordinance

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:26 PM EDT2017-07-22 01:26:44 GMT

    Local business people are raising a red flag on proposed changes in Calcasieu Parish's sewerage ordinance. Some predict a huge cost increase at multiple levels for developers, realtors and consumers. However, parish officials say those who have read proposed revisions have only seen them because they were seeking input from various segments of the community.

    More >>

    Local business people are raising a red flag on proposed changes in Calcasieu Parish's sewerage ordinance. Some predict a huge cost increase at multiple levels for developers, realtors and consumers. However, parish officials say those who have read proposed revisions have only seen them because they were seeking input from various segments of the community.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly