Last Monday, more than 70 student leaders, classmates, parents, teachers, and community members packed the Parent Family and Community Resource Center of Roosevelt HS to support a student-led action aimed at opening Roosevelt’s front entrance. For the last four months S.T.E.P. Up DC has been organizing with a core group of student leaders at the school around the issue of providing staff, students and the community a safe and dignified entrance to the school. For years, students, teachers and visitors have been forced to enter the building through the back door, which is accessible by only a car- and bus-filled alleyway next to the school's dumpsters and loading dock. As one student leader, Jacquanput it, “It’s an issue of dignity to have a school of mostly African American and Hispanic students walk through the back door of a school.”
Prior to this action, students conducted research to flesh out their proposal, including meeting with a local contractor to calculate cost estimates for cosmetic renovations and installing a buzzer. The student leaders also identified Cluster 10 Superintendent John Davis, Director of Security John Harris and Roosevelt Principal Ivor Mitchell as the key decision-makers around this issue.
In last Monday’s standing-room only meeting, student leaders outlined their rationale and proposal for opening the front door, and one-by-one got public commitments from each decision-maker to:
- Open the front door of the high school within the next 90 days.
- Work with the student leaders to find the funds to put a buzzer at the front entrance.
- Schedule a follow up meeting with the student leaders in the next 30 days to discuss their progress.
This is certainly a BIG win for the students at Roosevelt, but the work isn’t over until they can walk through the front doors of their school! Stay tuned…