Students, families discuss a "culture of belonging" in Columbia Public Schools

3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, March 20 2018 Mar 20, 2018 Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:26:00 PM CDT March 20, 2018 in News
By: Ally Wallenta, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Students and parents gathered Tuesday night to discuss the importance of a “culture of belonging” throughout Columbia Public Schools.

Two local organizations, Worley Street Roundtable and Faith Voices of Columbia, organized the forum between community members and school board candidates.

The forum came before the upcoming school board election on April 3.

The two groups wanted a platform for families and students to express their concerns to board candidates about the exclusion of racial, ethnic and religious minorities in CPS. 

Rock Bridge High School sophomore Sadia Moumita said the forum's topic of inclusion was important because "going to school isn't just about education." 

"Part of education and going to school is having the social aspect and being apart of something greater than oneself," Moumita said. "We need to make sure voices aren't silenced."  

Moumita said CPS can do a better job of getting families of color and of different ethnic backgrounds involved in conversations with the school board. 

"I think the changes I want to see are seeing more inclusion of those groups," Moumita said. She also is advocating for more students of color in gifted programs, which are currently, predominately white. 

Worley Street Roundtable and Faith Voices of Columbia said they "have a deep concern for the safety and emotional health of our students and families of colors, including immigrant and refugee families."

According to a news release, 39.7 percent of CPS students identify as racial or ethnic minorities and 14 percent of educators identify as educators of color.

The release said CPS has “a significant discipline disparity between white and African-American students. African American students, who represent 20 percent of CPS, receive almost half of the district’s out-of-school suspensions last year.”  

Worley Street and faith leaders said they believe these disparities create an environment of exclusion that “denies the dignity and worth of families of color, including immigrant families.”

The two groups, along with community members, asked school board candidates to focus this upcoming election on issues facing families of color.

Teacher recruitment and retention, parent communication, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were also discussed at the forum. 

One math teacher from Hickman High School said, “Teachers need students that look like them, otherwise there can be a feeling of isolation and lower retention rates among teachers.” 

Many members at the forum are asking that the new school board implements strategies that make sure there is an equal amount of students and teachers of color. 

School Board candidate Susan Blackburn said currently, only 8 percent of CPS teachers are of color and that as a community, "we can do better." 

Faith Voices of Columbia said the event is part of a large effort to move issues of belonging to the center of public debate in Columbia.

The forum was held at The Islamic Center of Central Missouri. 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man who was shot to death on Sunday after shooting three Kansas City police officers... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:33:33 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MANSFIELD (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a trooper who was shot in southwest Missouri has been released... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:28:02 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The white former interim police chief of St. Louis is alleging discrimination based on race in... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:20:28 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Japanese beetles are swarming mid-Missouri in the tens of thousands, wreaking havoc on gardens, crops and trees. ... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump will visit Missouri next week to deliver his first address as president to the annual... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:13:07 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Wednesday, Governor Parson issued an executive order putting nearly half of the counties in Missouri under... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:12:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri state representative has unblocked a critic from her Twitter account after he sued. ... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:10:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area woman has been charged with letting men rape her 2-year-old daughter. Twenty-five-year-old... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 5:12:46 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
HARRISBURG - A town rocked by tragedy continues to heal after the man responsible for the car crash that killed... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:57:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man following an investigation into alleged sexual abuse, and charges were filed in the... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:05:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Different sides reacted Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a wind energy project.... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Democratic Party filed an appeal to the ruling from a Cole County judge dismissing a... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
FULTON - In the span of one month, law enforcement responded to nine car crashes on Route F between Boone... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who caused the crash which left a Harrisburg teacher dead pleaded guilty Wednesday. Brandon Brill,... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:34:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent more than two weeks trapped... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:24:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri program aimed at connecting stroke, heart attack and trauma patients with the best care... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel says it bears no liability in last year's Las Vegas concert... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
6am 73°
7am 72°
8am 73°
9am 75°