Howard University Middle School has been the spotlight of much controversy in the last few days as reports began to surface that it’s Principal, Angelique Blackmon, fired teachers on her staff for teaching black history in their curriculum.
As students came to school Wednesday morning, so did some of their parents, asking what’s going on and why so many teachers are quitting or getting fired in the middle of the school year.
“As parents, we just want to get some answers,” said Dorothy Lowery. “We deserve to know what’s going on.”
After all three of the school’s social studies teachers gave their two weeks’ notice last week, parents say the new principal, Angelicque Blackmon, confronted all three with pink slips Tuesday, in front of students.
“While students are still present in the classroom? How unprofessional,” said parent Delrica Battle. “These children are crying. They said they couldn’t say goodbye. The teachers are upset, the students are upset.”
Parent Michelle Payne added, “They were given to them in front of our children and I think that our children do not deserve to see that type of behavior.”
(MS)² is a public charter school on the campus of Howard University. Some parents describe Principal Blackmon, who came from Atlanta, as abrasive.
“The school administration does not want the social studies teachers to teach African-American history,” said parent Shannon Settle. “We are on the campus of an HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities]. We need to know our culture; the school is 90-percent African American.”
None of the teachers, nor Principal Blackmon, has responded to ABC 7 News’ requests for comment.
“They were all escorted out by police officers, because they were trying to teach us things about our African heritage,” said seventh-grade student Kameron Gains-Gillens.
Parents who met with Principal Blackmon on Wednesday said they were not satisfied with the meeting.
One parent said Principal Blackmon had adopted Montgomery County Public Schools’ curriculum and did not want teachers talking about things like Kwanzaa and the late Marion Barry.