Future Looks Promising for School Following Fights, Fire Alarms

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Officials at the African-Centered College Preparatory Academy say they're trying to re-establish what they call a safe and healthy learning environment through a new zero tolerance policy.

Parents with children attending the school were able to ask questions about the policy Wednesday night. The zero tolerance policy comes on the heels of school fights and false fire alarms on Friday, Sept. 28, that resulted in 50 students being kicked out of the school.

"Students have to have the mindset that they are coming there for one reason and that's to get a good, quality education," said Joseph Williams III, school principal. "If they're not there for that reason, they're not going to be able to stay."

During the meeting officials discussed the school's newly implemented zero tolerance policy on conduct and the school uniform, but those issues weren't the sole focus of the meeting. School officials also told parents about progress.

During the meeting, the school announced the addition of some staff members and 2 more security officers. It was a bright spot for parent Cathy Martin.

'We've gotten support of the administrators," she said. "We've gotten support of the district. We've gotten support of the clergy in the area, and the parents really came out tonight, so I'm really feeling good about the future."

Yvonne Walker taught at the school when it was the Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus. She says she attended the meeting because she was interested in the new direction of the school -- a school she was once very proud to teach.

"When ACE was in this facility, we never had the police called," she said. "There were not fires and things of that nature and I attribute to the knowledge and the concept that comes from the African Centered format more so than just the typical things that we have as our present tools in education."

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