Teachers, students and parents speak against Riley takeover

By: Brandon Lewis Email
By: Brandon Lewis Email

State Superintendent Tony Bennett held a public hearing Wednesday evening to gather more input ahead of potential intervention at Riley High School.

Bennett met with the school board before taking comments from teachers, students and parents.

"I feel as though we're already in the process of getting better, so why change something? It wouldn't make sense," said Riley Early College sophomore Sabree Freeman.

Riley has until the end of the school year to get off the probation list or it could face intervention by the State's Department of Education

"We are prepared, if we have to take over a school in the classical sense. We will be prepared to do that. And I want no mistake to be made about that message. The state will be prepared to do that if it's necessary. This isn't just about takeover or this isn't just about leaving South Bend alone. It's making sure we pick the right level of intervention and the right intervention strategy to serve the children," said Bennett.

Even if Riley manages to get off the list, Bennett said the process leading up to intervention wouldn't be a waste.

"We have personified the old saying that until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change human beings will stay the same. I think that there have been structural changes that have occurred in South Bend that benefit the children to date," said Bennett.

Freeman and many of her classmates also acknowledged the changes that have been made have helped and hopes there is more to come.

"The students really care. They want to be here and they don't want to move," said Freeman.

Bennett said he should have all of the data compiled by late June or early July and the State Board of Education make a decision on how to proceed soon after.

To submit comments on potential state intervention, click the link below.

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